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D.D., O.S.B., 


My dear Lord, 

In gaining your Lordship's leave to place the 
following Volume under your patronage, I fear I 
may seem to the world to have asked what is 
more gracious in you to grant, than becoming or 
reasonable in me to have contemplated. For 
what assignable connexion is there between your 
Lordship's name, and a work, not didactic, not 
pastoral, not ascetical, not devotional, but for the 
most part simply controversial; directed, moreover, 
against a mere transitory phase in an accidental 
school of opinion, and for that reason, both in 
its matter and its argument, only of local interest 
and ephemeral importance ? 

Such a question may obviously be put to me ; 
nor can I answer it, except by referring to 

A 2 


the well-known interest, which your Lordship 
has so long taken in the religious party to which 
I have alluded, and the joy and thankfulness with 
which you have welcomed the manifestations of 
God's grace, as often as first one and then 
another of their number has in his turn emerged 
from the mists of error into the light and peace 
of CathoUc truth. 

Whatever, then, your Lordship's sentiments 
may be of the character of the Work, I persuade 
myself that I may be able suitably to present it 
to you, in consideration of the object it has in 
view ; and that you, on your part, will not repent 
of countenancing an Author, who, in the selec- 
tion of his materials, would fain put the claims 
of charity above the praise of critics, and feels it 
is a better deed to write for the present moment 
than for posterity. 

Begging your Lordship's blessing, 
I am, my dear Lord, 
Your Lordship's faithful and grateful servant, 

Congr. Orat. 



It may occur to some persons to feel surprise, 
that the Author of the following Lectures, instead 
of occupying himself on the direct proof of Catho- 
licism, should have professed no more than to 
remove difficulties from the path of those who 
have already admitted the arguments in its favour. 
But, in the first place, he really does not think 
that there is any call just now for an Apology in 
behalf of the divine origin of the Catholic Church. 
She bears her unearthly character on her brow, 
as her enemies confess, by imputing her miracles 
to Beelzebub. There is an instinctive feeling of 
curiosity, interest, anxiety, and awe, mingled to- 
gether in various proportions, according to the 
tempers and opinions of individuals, when she 
makes her appearance in any neighbourhood, rich 
or poor, in the person of her missioners or her 
religious communities. * Do what they will, de- 
nounce her as they may, her enemies cannot 
quench this emotion in the breasts of others, or 


in their own. It is their involuntary homage to 
the Notes of the Church ; it is their spontaneous 
recognition of her royal descent and her imperial 
claim ; it is a specific feeling, which no other re- 
ligion tends to excite. Judaism, Mahometanism, 
Anglicanism, Methodism, old religions and young, 
romantic and common-place, have not the spell. 
The presence of the Church creates a discom- 
posure and restlessness, or a thrill of exultation, 
wherever she comes. Meetings are held, denun- 
ciations launched, calumnies spread abroad, and 
hearts beat secretly the while. The babe leaps in 
EUzabeth's womb, at the voice of her in whom is 
inshrined and lives the Incarnate Word. Her 
priests appeal freely to the consciences of all 
comers, to say whether they have not a super- 
human gift, and the multitude by silence gives 
consent. They look like other men ; they may 
have the failings of other men ; they may have as 
little worldly advantages as the preachers of dis- 
sent ; they may lack the popular talents, the ora- 
torical power, the imposing presence, which are 
found elsewhere ; but they inspire confidence, or 
at least reverence, by their very word. Those 
who come to jeer and scoflf, remain to pray. 

There needs no treatise then on the Notes of 
the Church, till this he^ mysterious influence is 
accounted for and destroyed ; still less is it neces- 
sary just at this time, when the writings and the 


proceedings of a school of divines in the Esta- 
bhshment have, against their will and intention, 
done this very work for her as regards the con- 
victions of a multitude of men. What treatise 
indeed can be so conclusive in this day as a 
teaching which has been simple and intelligible 
in its principles ; imbibed and mastered in the 
course of years ; gradually developed, improved, 
corrected, adjusted, and enlarged ; which is con- 
verging in many minds at once to one resolution 
as its limit, and which in a number of instances 
has been completed already by acts which, more 
powerfully than any words, attest the force and the 
issue of the argument which it involves? Feel- 
ing, then, that an exhibition of the direct Evi- 
dences for Cathohcism is not the want of the mo- 
ment, the Author has had no thoughts of address- 
ing himself to a work, which could not be executed 
by any who undertook it, except in leisure and 
with great deliberation. At present the thinking 
portion of society is either very near the Catholic 
Church, or very far from her. Tlie first duty of 
Catholics is to house those in, who are near their 
doors ; it will be time afterwards to see how 
things lie on the extended field of philosophy and 
religion, when this has been done, and into what 
new position the controversy has fallen : as yet 
the old arguments suffice. To attempt a formal 
dissertation on the Notes of the Church at this 


moment, would be running the risk of construct- 
ing what none would need now, and none could 
use then. 

Those surely who are advancing towards the 
Church, would not have advanced so far as they 
have, had they not had sufficient arguments to bring 
them forward. What retards their progress, is not 
any weakness in those arguments, but the force of 
opposite considerations, speculative or practical, 
which are urged, sometimes against the Church, 
sometimes against their submitting to her au- 
thority. They would have no doubt about their 
duty, but for the charges brought against her, 
or the remonstrances addressed to themselves ; 
charges and remonstrances which, whatever their 
intrinsic cogency, are abundantly sufficient for 
their purpose, where there are so many induce- 
ments, whether from wrong feeling, or infirmity, 
or even error of conscience, to listen to them. 
Such persons, then, have a claim on us to be 
fortified in their true perceptions and their reli- 
gious resolutions, against the calumnies, preju- 
dices, mistakes, and ignorance of their friends and 
of the world, against the undue influence exerted 
on their minds by the real difficulties which un- 
avoidably surround a religion so deep and mani- 
fold in philosophy, and occupying so vast a place 
in the history of nations. It would be wonder- 
ful indeed, if a teaching which embraces all spi- 


ritual and moral truth, from the highest to the 
minutest, should present no mysteries or appa- 
rent inconsistencies ; wonderful, if in the lapse of 
eighteen hundred years, and in the range of three- 
fourths of the globe, and in the profession of 
thousands of millions of souls, it had not afforded 
innumerable points of plausible attack ; wonder- 
ful, if it could assail the pride and sensuality 
which are common to the whole race, without 
rousing the hatred, malice, jealousy, and obsti- 
nate opposition of the natural man ; wonderful, 
if it could be the object of the jealous and un- 
wearied scrutiny of ten thousand adversaries, of 
the coalition of wit and wisdom, of minds acute, 
far-seeing, comprehensive, original, and possessed 
of the deepest and most varied knowledge, yet 
without some sort of case being made out against 
it ; and wonderful, moreover, if the vast multitude 
of objections, great and small, resulting from its 
exposure to circumstances such as these, acting on 
the timidity, scrupulousness, inexperience, intel- 
lectual fastidiousness, love of the world, or self- 
dependence of individuals, had not been sujflicient 
to keep many a one from the Church, who had, 
in spite of them, good and satisfactory reasons for 
joining her communion. Here is the plain reason 
why so many are brought near the Church, and 
§0 back, or are so slow in submitting to her. 
Now, as has been impHed above, where there 


is detachment from the world, a keen appre- 
hension of the unseen, and a simple determination 
to do the divine will, such difficulties will not 
commonly avail, if men have had sufficient 
opportunity of acquainting themselves with the 
Notes or Evidences of the Church. In matter of 
fact they do not avail, as we see daily, to deter 
those whose hearts are right, or whose minds are 
incapable of extended investigations, from recog- 
nizing the Church's Notes and acting upon them. 
They do not avail with the poor, the uneducated, 
the simple-minded, the resolute, and the fervent ; 
but they are formidable, when there are motives 
in the back-ground, amiable or unworthy, to bias 
their will. Every one is obliged, by the law of 
his nature, to act by reason ; yet no one likes to 
make a great sacrifice unnecessarily ; such diffi- 
culties, then, just avail to turn the scale, and to 
detain men in Protestantism, who are open to 
the influence of tenderness towards friends, re- 
liance on superiors, fondness for their position, 
dread of present inconvenience, indolence, love of 
independence, fear of the future, regard to re- 
putation, desire of consistency, attachment to 
cherished notions, pride of reason, or reluctance 
to go to school again. No one likes to take 
an awful step, all by himself, without feehng 
sure he is right ; no one likes to remain long 
in doubt whether he should take it or not ; 


he wishes to be settled, and he readily catches 
at objections, or listens to dissuasives, which 
allow of his giving over the inquiry, or post- 
poning it sine die. Yet those very same per- 
sons who would willingly hide the truth from 
their eyes by objections and difficulties, never- 
theless, if actually forced to look it in the face, 
and brought under the direct power of the Catho- 
lic arguments, would often have strength and 
courage enough to take the dreaded step, and 
would find themselves, almost before they knew 
what they had done, in the haven of peace. 

These were some of the reasons for the parti- 
cular line of argument which the Author has se- 
lected; and in what he has said in explanation, 
he must not be supposed to forget that faith is 
the result of the will, not of a process of reason- 
ing, and that conversion is a simple work of divine 
grace. He aims at nothing more than to remove 
impediments to the due action of the conscience, 
by removing those perplexities in the proof, which 
keep the intellect from being touched by its co- 
gency, and give the heart an excuse for trifling with 
it. The absence of temptation or of other moral dis- 
advantage, though not the direct cause of virtuous 
conduct, still is a great help towards it ; and, in 
like manner, to clear away from the path of an in- 
qiiirer objections to Catholic truth, is to subserve 
his conversion by making way for the due and 


efficacious operation of divine grace. Religious 
persons indeed do what is right in spite of tempta- 
tion ; persons of sensitive and fervent minds go 
on to believe in spite of difficulty ; but where the 
desire of truth is languid, and the religious pur- 
pose weak, such difficulty suffices to prevent con- 
viction, and faith will not be created in the mind 
though there are abundant reasons for its crea- 
tion. In these circumstances it is quite as much 
an act of charity to attempt the removal of such 
objections to the truth, as, without excusing, are 
made the excuse for unbelief, as to remove the 
occasion of sin in any other department of duty. 

It is plain, he is rather describing what his 
Lectures were intended to be, than what they 
have turned out. He found it impossible to 
fulfil what he contemplated within the limits im- 
posed upon him by the circumstances under 
which they were written. The very first objec- 
tion which he took on starting, the alleged con- 
nexion of the Movement of 1833 with the Na- 
tional Church, has afiforded matter for the greater 
part of the course ; and, before he had well 
finished the discussion of it, it was getting time 
to think of concluding, and that, in any way 
which would give a character of completeness to 
the whole. Else, after the seventh Lecture, it 
had been his intention to proceed to the consi- 
deration of the alleged claim of the National 


Church on the allegiance of its members ; of the 
alleged duty of our remaining in the communion 
which we were born ; of the alleged danger of 
trusting to reason ; of the alleged right of the 
National Church to forbid doubt about its claims ; 
of the alleged uncertainty which necessarily at- 
tends the claims of any religion whatever ; of the 
tests of certainty ; of the relation of faith to rea- 
son ; of the legitimate force of objections ; and 
of the matter of Catholic evidence. He is ashamed 
to continue the list further, lest he should seem 
to have been contemplating what was evidently 
impracticable ; all he can say in extenuation is, 
that he never aimed at going more fully into any 
of the subjects of which he was to treat, than he 
has done in the sketches which he now presents 
to the reader. Lastly, he had proposed to end 
his course with a notice of the objections made 
by Protestants to particular doctrines, as Purga- 
tory, Intercession of Saints, and the like. 

Incomplete however as the Lectures may be 
with reference to the idea with which they were 
commenced, or compared with what might be 
said upon each subject successively treated, of 
course he makes no apology for the actual 
matter of -them ; else he should not have de- 
livered or published them. It has not been his 
practice to engage in controversy with those who 
have felt it their duty to criticise what at any 


time he has written ; but that will not preclude 
him, under present circumstances, from eluci- 
dating what is deficient in them by further ob- 
servations, should questions be asked which, 
either from the quarter whence they proceed, 
or from their intrinsic weight, have, according to 
his judgment, a claim upon liis attention. 

In fest. S. Bonaventurse, 



I. On the relation of the National Church to the Nation . I 
II. The Movement of 1833 uncongenial to the National 

Church 29 

III. Life in the Movement of 1833 not from the National 

Church 57 

IV. The Providential Direction of the Movement of 1833 

not towards the National Church . . . .81 
V. The Providential Direction of the Movement of 1833 

not towards a Party in the National Church . . 105 
VI. The Providential Direction of the Movement of 1833 

not towards a Branch Church . . . .135 

VII. The Providential Direction of the Movement of 1833 

not towards a Sect 165 

VIII. Political State of Catholic Countries no Prejudice to the 

Sanctity of the Church 191 

IX. The Religious Character of Catholic Countries no Pre- 
judice to the Sanctity of the Church . . .217 
X. Differences among Catholics no Prejudice to the Unity 

of the Church 243 

XI. Heretical and Schismatical Bodies no Prejudice to the 

Catholicity of the Church 269 

XII. Christian History no Prejudice to the Apostolicity of the 

Church 295 



There are those, my brethren, who may think it strange, 
and even shocking, that, at this moment, when the liberaHsm 
of the age, after many previous attempts, is apparently 
at length about to get possession of the Church and 
Universities of the nation, any one like myself, who is a 
zealous upholder of the dogmatic principle in all its bear- 
ings, should be doing what little in him lies to weaken, 
even indirectly, Institutions, which, with whatever short- 
comings or errors, are the only political bulwarks of that 
principle left to us by the changes of the sixteenth 
century. For what is it to help forward members of the 
Established Church towards Catholicism, as I propose to 
do in these Lectures, but, so far, to co-operate with 
a levelling party, who are the enemies of God, and truth, 
and virtue? The Institutions in question, it maybe said, 
uphold what is right and what is holy as far as they go, and, 
moreover, the duty of upholding it ; they do not in their 
genuine workings harm the Church ; they do but oppose 

B 2 


themselves to dissent, freethinking, infidelity, and law- 
lessness. They are her natural, however covert, allies ; 
they are the faithful nurses and conservators of her spirit ; 
they are glad, and proud, as far as they are allowed to do 
so, to throw her mantle over them, and they do her 
homage by attempting a mimic Catholicism. They have 
preserved through bad times our old churches, our forms, 
our rites, our customs, in a measure our Creed ; they are 
taunted by our enemies as Catholics or Papists; and 
many of those who are submitted to their teaching, 
look wistfully to us, in their forlorn struggle with those 
enemies, for encouragement and sympathy. Certainly, 
reviewing the history of the last three centuries, we 
cannot deny that those Institutions have uniformly 
repressed the extravagance, and diluted the virulence, 
of Protestantism. To the divines, to whom they have 
given birth, our country is indebted for apologies for 
various of the great doctrines of the faith : to Bull 
for a Defence of the Creed of Nicsea, nay, in a mea- 
sure, of the true doctrine of justification, such as the 
most accomplished Catholic theologians of this day, as 
well as of his own, treat with great consideration ; to 
Pearson for a powerful argument in behalf of the Apos- 
tolical origin of Episcopacy ; to Wall for a proof of the 
primitive use of Infant Baptism ; to Hooker for a 
vindication of the great principle of religious order and 
worship ; to Butler for a profound investigation into the 
connexion of natural with revealed religion ; to Paley 
and others for a series of elaborate evidences of the 
divinity of Christianity. It is cruel, it is impolitic to cast 
off, if not altogether friends, yet at least those who are 
not our worst foes ; nor can we afford to do so. If they 
usurp our name, yet they proclaim it in the ears of 


heretics all about ; they have kept much error out of the 
country, if they have let much in; and if Platonism, 
though false, is more honourable than the philosophy of 
the academy or of the garden, by the same rule surely, 
we ought, comparatively with other sects, to give our 
countenance to the Anglican Church, to compassionate 
her in her hour of peril, " and spare the meek usurper s 
hoary head/' 

Well, and I do not know what natural inducement 
there is to urge me to be harsh with her in this her 
hour: I have only pleasant associations of those many 
years when I was within her pale ; I have no theory to 
put forward, nor position to maintain ; and I am come to 
a time of life, when men desire to be quiet and at peace ; 
— moreover, I am in a communion which satisfies its mem- 
bers, and draws them into itself, and, by the objects which 
it presents to faith, and the influences which it exerts over 
the heart, leads thera to forget the external world, and look 
forward more steadily to the future. No, my dear bre- 
thren, there is but one thing forces me to speak, — and it 
is ray intimate sense that the Catholic Church is the one 
ark of salvation, and my love for your souls ; it is my fear 
lest you ought to submit yourselves to her, and do not ; 
my fear lest I may perchance be able to persuade you, and 
not use my talent. It will be a miserable thing for you 
and for me, if I have been instrumental in bringing you 
but half way, if I have co-operated in removing your 
invincible ignorance, but am able to do no more. It is 
this keen feeling that my life is wearing away, which over- 
comes the lassitude which possesses me, which scatters 
the excuses which I might plausibly urge to myself for 
not meddling with what I have left for ever, which sub- 
dues the recollections of past times, and which makes 


me do my best, with whatever success, to bring you to 
land from off your wreck, who have thrown yourselves 
from it upon the waves, or are chnging to its rigging, 
or are sitting in heaviness and despair upon its side. 
For this is the truth : the Estabhshment, whatever it be 
in the eyes of men, whatever its temporal greatness and 
its secular prospects, in the eyes of faith is a mere wreck. 
We must not indulge our imagination, we must not 
dream : we must look at things as they are ; we must 
not confound the past with the present, or what is sub- 
stantive with what is the accident of a period. Ridding 
our minds of these illusions, we shall see that the Esta- 
blished Church has no claims wliatever on us, whether in 
memory or in hope ; that they only have claims upon our 
commiseration and our charity whom she holds in bond- 
age, separated from that faith and that Church in which 
alone is salvation. If I can do aught towards breaking 
their chains, and bringing them into the truth, it will be 
an act of love towards their souls, and of piety towards 

I have said, we must not indulge our imagination in 
the view we take of the National Establishment. If we 
dress it up in an ideal form as if it were something real, 
with an independent and a continuous existence, and a 
proper history, as if it were in deed and not only in name 
a Church, then indeed we may feel interest in it, and 
reverence towards it, and affection for it, as men have 
fallen in love with pictures, or knights in romance do 
battle for high dames whom they have never seen. Thus 
it is that students of the Fathers, antiquarians, and poets, 
begin by assuming that the body to which they belong 
is that of which they read in time past, and then proceed 
to decorate it with that majesty and beauty of which 


history tells, or which their genius creates. Nor is it an 
easy process or a light effort by which their minds are 
disabused of this error. It is an error for many reasons 
too dear to them to be readily relinquished. But at 
length, either the force of circumstances or some unex- 
pected accident dissipates it ; and, as in fairy tales, the 
magic castle vanishes when the spell is broken, and 
nothing is seen but the wild heath, the barren rock, and 
the forlorn sheep-walk : so is it with us as regards the 
Church of England, when we look in amazement on that 
we thought so unearthly, and find so common-place or 
worthless. Then we perceive that aforetime we have not 
been guided by reason ; but biassed by education, and 
swayed by affection. We see in the English Church, 
I will not merely say no descent from the first ages, and 
no relationship to the Church in other lands, but we see 
no body politic of any kind ; we see nothing more or less 
than an establishment, a department of government, or a 
function or operation of the state, — without a substance, 
— a mere collection of officials, depending on and living in 
the supreme civil power. Its unity and personality are 
gone, and with them its power of exciting feelings of 
any kind. It is easier to love or hate an abstraction, 
than so tangible a frame- work or machinery. We regard 
it neither with anger, nor with aversion, nor with con- 
tempt, any more than with respect or interest. It is but 
one aspect of the state, or mode of civil governance ; it 
is responsible for nothing ; it can appropriate neither 
praise nor blame ; but, whatever feeling it raises, is, by 
the nature of the case, to be referred on to the Supreme 
Power whom it represents, and whose will is its breath. 
And hence it has no identity of existence in distinct 
periods, unless the present Legislature or Court can affect 


to be the offspring and disciple of its predecessor. Nor 
can it in consequence be said to have any antecedents, or 
any future ; or to live, except in the passing moment. As 
a thing without a soul, it does not contemplate itself, 
define its intrinsic constitution, or ascertain its position. 
It has no traditions ; it cannot be said to think ; it does 
not know what it holds, and what it does not ^ ; it is not 
even conscious of its own existence. It has no love for 
its members, or what are sometimes called its children, 
nor any instinct whatever, unless attachment to its 
master, or love of its place, may be so called. Its fruits, 
as far as they are good, are to be made much of while 
they are present; for they are transient, and without 
succession; its former champions of orthodoxy are no 
earnest of orthodoxy now ; they died, and there was no 
reason why they should be reproduced. Bishop is not 
like Bishop, more than king is like king, or ministry like 
ministry ; its Prayer-book is an act of Parliament of two 
centuries ago, and its cathedrals and its chapter-houses 
are the spoils of Catholicism. 

I have said all this, my brethren, not in declamation, 
but to bring out clearly to you, why I cannot feel interest 
of any kind in the National Church, nor put any trust in 

* The fact is strikingly brought out in Archbishop Sumner's corre- 
spondence with Mr. Maskell, " You ask me," he says, " whether you 
are to conclude that you ought not to teach, and have not authority of 
the Church to teach any of the doctrines spoken of in your five former 
questions, in the dogmatical terms there stated ?" To which I reply, " Are 
ihey contained in the Word of God 1 St. Paul says, * Preach the word.* 
.... Now, whether the doctrines concerning which you inquire are 
contained in the Word of God, and can be proved thereby, you have the 
same means of discovering as myself, and I have no special authority to 
declare." The Archbishop at least would quite allow what I have said 
in the text, even though he might express himself differently. 


it at all, from its past history, as being, in however nar- 
row a sense, a guardian of orthodoxy. It is as little 
bound by what it said or did formerly, as this morning's 
newspaper by its former numbers, except as it is bound 
by the Law : and while it is upheld by the Law, it will not 
be weakened by the subtraction of individuals, nor for- 
tified by their continuance. Its life is an act of Parlia- 
ment. It will not be able to resist the Arian, Sabellian 
or Unitarian heresies now, because Bull or Waterland 
resisted them a century or two before ; nor will it be un- 
able to resist them, though its more orthodox theologians 
were presently to leave it. It will be able to resist them 
while the State gives the word ; it would be unable, when 
the State forbids it. Elizabeth boasted that she " tuned 
its pulpits ;" Charles forebade discussions on predestina- 
tion ; George, on the Holy Trinity ; Victoria allows differ- 
ences on Holy Baptism. While the nation wishes an 
Estabhshment, it will remain, whatever individuals are 
for it or against it ; and that which determines its 
existence, will determine its voice. Of course the pre- 
sence or departure of individuals will be one out of 
various disturbing causes, which may delay or accele- 
rate by a certain number of years a change in its teach- 
ing : but, after all, the change depends on events broader 
and deeper than these ; it depends on changes in the 
nation. As the nation changes its political, so may it 
change its religious views ; the causes which carried the 
Keform Bill and Free Trade may make short work with 

The most simple proof of the truth of this assertion 
will be found in considering what and how much has 
been hitherto done by the ecclesiastical movement of 
1833, towards heightening the tone of the Established 


Church — by a movement extending over seventeen years and 
more, and carried on with great energy, and (as far as con- 
cerns the conversion of individuals) with surprising success. 
Opinions which, twenty years ago, were not held by any 
but Catholics, or at most only in isolated portions by iso- 
lated persons, are now the profession of thousands. Such 
success ought to have acted on the Establishment itself ; 
has it done so ? or rather, is not that success simply and 
entirely in expectation and in hope, as the conversion of 
heathen nations by the various Evangelical societies ? 
The Fathers have catholicized the Protestant Church at 
home, pretty much as the Bible has evangelized the Maho- 
metan or Hindoo religions abroad. There have been re- 
curring vaticinations and promises of good ; but little or 
no actual fulfilment. Look back year after year, count up 
the exploits of the movement party, and consider whether 
it has had any effect at all on the religious judgment of 
the nation, as represented by the Establishment. The 
more clear and striking is the growth of its adherents and 
well-wishers, the more pregnant a fact is it, that the 
Establishment has steadily gone on its own way, eating, 
drinking, sleeping, and working, fulfilling its nature and 
its destiny, as if that movement had not been ; or at least 
with no greater consciousness of its presence, than any 
internal disarrangement or disorder inflicts on a man who 
has a work to do, and is busy at it. The movement has 
formed but a party within its pale, and the Church of the 
nation has pursued the nation's objects, and executed the 
nation's will, in spite of it. The movement could not pre- 
vent the Ecclesiastical commission, nor the Episcopal mis- 
management of it. Its zeal, principle, and clearness of 
view, backed by a union of parties, did not prevent the 
royal appointment of a theological Professor, whose senti- 


merits were the expression of the national idea of reli- 
gion. Nor did its protest even succeed in preventing his 
subsequent elevation to the Episcopal bench. Nor did it 
succeed in preventing the establishment of a sort of 
Anglo-Prussian, half-episcopal, half- Lutheran see at Je- 
rusalem ; nor the selection of two individuals of heretical 
opinions to fill it in succession. Nor did it prevent the in- 
trusion of the Establishment on the Maltese territory ; 
nor has it prevented the systematic promotion at home of 
men heterodox, or fiercely latitudinarian, in their religious 
views, or professedly ignorant of theology, and glorying in 
their ignorance. Nor did the movement prevent the pro- 
motion of Bishops and others who deny or explain away 
the grace of Baptism. Nor has it hindered the two Arch- 
bishops of England concurring in the royal decision that 
within the national communion baptismal regeneration is 
an open question. It has not heightened the theology 
of the Universities or of the Christian Knowledge Society, 
nor afforded any defence in its hour of need to the Na- 
tional Society for Education. What has it done for the 
cause It undertook ? It has preserved the Universities to 
the Established Church for fifteen years ; perhaps it pre- 
vented certain alterations in the Prayer Book ; it has 
secured at Oxford the continuance of the Oath of Supre- 
macy against Catholics for a like period; it has hindered 
the promotion of high-minded liberals, like the late Dr. 
Arnold, at the price of the advancement of second-rate men 
who have shared his opinions. It has built Churches and 
Colleges, and endowed sees, of which its enemies in the Es- 
tablishment have gladly taken or are taking possession ; it 
has founded sisterhoods or elicited confessions, the fruits of 
which are yet to be seen. On the other hand it has given a 
hundred educated men to the Catholic Church; yet the huge 


creature, from which they went forth, showed no conscious- 
ness of its loss, but shook itself, and went about its work as 
of old time, — as all parties, even the associates they had 
left, united, and even gloried, in witnessing. And lastly, 
the present momentous event, to which I have already 
alluded, which is creating such disturbance in the coun- 
try, has happened altogether independent of the move- 
ment, and is unaffected by it. Those persons who went 
forward to Catholicism have not caused it ; those who have 
stayed neither could prevent it, nor can remedy it. It 
relates to a question previous to any of those doctrines 
which it has been the main object of the movement to 
maintain. It is caused, rather it is willed, by the na- 
tional mind ; and, till the grace of God touches and con- 
verts that mind, it will remain a fact done and over, a 
precedent and a principle in the Establishment. 

Such is the true state of the case : no one can exag- 
gerate the vis imrtiWf the life, of a national establish- 
ment, of whatever kind ; it is, in other words, the strength 
of the world ; nothing is stronger than the world, except 
God and the devil ; and the evil spirit may, if God so 
allow, destroy what he has hitherto used, in order to 
bring in a more awful form of heresy and unbelief. The 
Eternal God too, at His merciful pleasure, may fight with 
it, and humble and subdue it, as He has done of old time ; 
and in such cases His Holy Church is the instrument of 
His purposes. It is the duty of the Catholic Church, 
wherever she is found, and it is her gift, to confront, to en- 
counter, and to beat back the spirit of the age. This has 
been especially felt by those who began, and those who 
continued, the movement in the Establishment. They 
keenly felt this truth ; they acted upon it ; and they 
failed, because they mistook an EstabUshment for the 


Church, because they fancied a work of man the work of 
God. The Church alone is immortal and unalterable ; 
but time and chance, which are the instruments of man's 
creations, are the instruments also of their modification 
and their change. 

This is the true explanation of what is going on before 
our eyes, as seen whether in the decision of the Privy Coun- 
cil, or in the respective conduct of the two parties in the 
Establishment with relation to it. It may seem strange, 
at first sight, that the Evangelical section should presume 
so boldly to contravene the distinct and categorical teach- 
ing of the national fornmlaries on the subject of baptism ; 
strange, till it is understood that the true interpreter of 
their sense is the nation itself, and that that section in the 
Establishment speaks with the confidence of men who 
know that they have the nation on their side. Let me 
here refer to the just and manly admissions on this sub- 
ject of a high-principled writer, which have lately been 
given to the public : — 

" There is" a *' consideration," he says, "which, for some 
time, has pressed heavily and painfully upon me. As a 
fact, the Evangelical party plainly, openly, and fully 
declare their opinions upon the doctrines which they 
contend the Church of England holds ; they tell their 
people continually, what they ought, as a matter of duty 
towards God and towards themselves, both to believe and 
practise. Can it be pretended that we, as a party, 
anxious to teach the truth, are equally open, plain, and 
unreserved ? . . . And it is not to be alleged, that only the 
less important duties and doctrines are so reserved : as if 
it would be an easy thing to distinguish and draw a line 
of division between them. . . . We do reserve vital and 
essential truths ; we often hesitate and fear to teach our 


people many duties, not all necessary, perhaps, in every 
case or to every person, but eminently practical, and sure 
to increase the growth of the inner, spiritual life ; we 
differ, in short, as widely from the Evangelical party in 
the manner and openness, as in the matter and details of 
our doctrine. . . . All this seems to me to be, day by day 
and hour by hour, more and more hard to be reconciled 
with the real spirit, mind, and purpose of the English 
Eeformation, and of the modern English Church, shown 
by the experience of three hundred years. . . . People 
often say, it is wrong to use such terms as ' the spirit of the 
Reformed English Church ;' or ' its intention,' ' purpose,' 
and the like. And is it really so ? was the Reformation 
nothing ? did it effect nothing, change nothing, remove 
nothing? .... No doubt the Reformed Church of 
England claims to be a portion of the Holy Catholic 
Church ; and it has been common for many of our own 
opinions, to add also the assertion, that she rejects and 
condemns, as being out of the Church Catholic, the re- 
formed Churches abroad, Lutheran, Genevan, and others, 
together with the Kirk of Scotland, or the Dissenters at 
home. Upon our principles, nay, on any consistent 
Church principle at all, such a corollary must follow. 
But there is a strangeness in it ; it commends itself per- 
haps to our intellect, but not to the eye or ear ; nor, it 
may be, to the heart or conscience ''." 

These remarks are as true, as they are candid ; and it 
is, I hope, no disrespect to the Author, if, taking them 
from their context, I use them for my own argument, 
which is not indeed divergent, though it is distinct from 
his own. Whether, then, they prove that the Evan- 

* Maskell'a Second Letter, pp. 67 — C9. 


gelical party is as much at home in the national Prayer 
Book as the AngHcan, I will not pronounce ; but at 
least they prove that that party is far more at home in 
the national Establishment ; that it is in cordial and 
intimate sympathy with the sovereign Lord and Master 
of the Prayer Book, its composer and interpreter, the 
Nation itself, — on the best terms with Queen, and 
statesmen, and practical men, and country gentlemen, 
and respectable tradesmen, fathers and mothers, school- 
masters, churchwardens, vestries, public societies, news- 
papers, and their readers in the lower classes. The 
Evangelical Ministers of the Establishment have, in 
comparison with their Anglican rivals, the spirit of the 
age with them ; they are congenial with the age ; they 
glide forward rapidly and proudly down the stream ; and 
it is this fact, and their consciousness of it, which carries 
them over all difficulties. Jewell was triumphant over 
Harding, and Wake over Atterbury or Leslie, with the 
terrors or the bribes of a sovereign to back them, and 
their successors in this day have, in like manner, the 
strength of public opinion on their side. The letter of 
enactments, pristine customs, ancient rights, are no match 
for the momentum with which they rush along upon the 
flood of public opinion, which makes every conclusion 
seem absurd, and every argument sophistical, and every 
maxim untrue, except such as it recognizes itself. 

How different has it been with the opposite party ! Con- 
fident, indeed, and with reason, of the truth of its great 
principles, having a perception and certainty of its main 
tenets, which is like the evidence of sense compared with 
the feeble, flitting, and unreal views of doctrine held by 
the' Evangelical body, still, as to their application, their 
adaptation, their combination, their development, it 

16 LECTURE t. 

has been miserably conscious that it has had nothing to 
guide it but its own private and unaided judgment. 
Dreading its own interpretation of Scripture and the 
Fathers, feehng its need of an infaUible guide, yet having 
none ; looking up to its own Mother, as it called her, and 
finding her silent, ambiguous, unsympathetic, sullen, and 
even hostile to it ; with ritual mutilated, sacraments de- 
fective, precedents inconsistent, articles equivocal, canons 
obsolete, courts Protestant, and synods suspended ; 
scouted by the laity, scorned by men of the world, hated 
and blackened by its opponents ; and moreover at vari- 
ance with itself, hardly two of its members taking up 
the same position, nay, all of them shifting their own 
ground as time went on, and obliged to confess that they 
were in progress ; is it wonderful, in the words of the 
Pamphlet already referred to, that these men have exhi- 
bited " a conduct and a rule of religious life" " full of shifts, 
and compromises, and evasions, a rule of life, based upon 
the acceptance of half one doctrine, all the next, and none 
of the third, upon the belief entirely of another, but not 
daring to say so ?" After all, they have not been near 
so guilty " of shifts, and compromises, and evasions," as 
the national formularies themselves ; but they have had 
none to support them, or, if I may use a familiar word, 
to act the bully for them under the imputation. There 
was no one with confident air and loud voice, to retort 
upon their opponents the charges urged against them, 
and no public to applaud, though there had been. 
Whether they looked above or below, behind or before, 
they found nothing indeed to shake or blunt their faith 
in Christ, in His establishment of a Church, in its visi- 
bility, continuance, catholicity, and gifts, and in the 
necessity of belonging to it : they despised the hollow- 


ness of their opponents, the inconsequence of their ar- 
guments, the shallowness of their views, their disrelish 
of principle, and their carelessness about truth, but their 
heart sunk within them under the impossibility of their 
carrying on their faith into practice, there, where they 
found themselves, and of realizing their ideas in fact, 
and the duty notwithstanding, as they were taught it, 
of making the best of the circumstances in which they 
were placed. Such were they ; I trust they are so still : 
I will not allow myself to fancy that secret doubts on one 
hand, that self-will, disregard of authority, an unmanly 
disingenuous bearing, and the spirit of party on the other, 
have deformed a body of persons whom once I loved, re- 
vered, and sympathized in. I speak of those many per- 
sons whom I admired ; who, like the hero in the epic, did 
not want courage, but encouragement ; who looked out 
in vain for the approbation of authority ; who felt their 
own power, but shrank from the omen of evil, the hateful 
raven, which flapped its wings over them ; who seemed 
to say with the Poet : 

Non me tua fervida terrent 

Dicta, ferox ; Dii me terrent, et Jupiter hostis. 

But their very desire of realities, and their fear of 
deceiving themselves with dreams, was their insurmount- 
able difficulty here. They could not make the Establish- 
ment what it was not, and this was forced on them day 
after day. It is a principle, in some sense acknowledged 
by Catholic theologians, that the spirit of an age modifies 
its inherited professions. Moralists lay down, that a 
law loses its authority which the lawgiver knowingly 
allows to be infringed and put aside ; whatever, then, be 
the abstract claims of the Anglican cause, the living 
community to which they are attached, has for centuries 



ignored and annulled them. It was a principle parallel 
to this which furnished one of the reasons on which the 
judges of the Queen''s Bench the other day acted, when 
they refused to prohibit the execution of the Royal de- 
cision, in the appeal from the Bishop of Exeter. His 
counsel urged certain provisions in statutes of the reign 
of Henry VIII., which had not been discussed in the 
pleadings. " Were the language of 25 Henry VIII. c. 9, 
obscure instead of clear," observed the Chief Justice, 
"we should not be justified in differing from the con- 
struction put upon it by contemporaneous and long con- 
tinued usage. There would be no safety for property or 
liberty if it could be successfully contended, that all law- 
yers and statesmen have been mistaken for centuries as 
to the true meaning of the Act of Parliament." What- 
ever becomes of the general question, this at least is the 
language of reason and common sense ; as physical life 
assimilates to itself, or casts off, whatever it encounters, 
allowing no interference with the supremacy of its own 
principle, so is it with social and civil. When a body 
politic grows, takes definite shape, and matures, it slights, 
though it may endure, the vestiges and tokens of its 
rude beginnings. It may cherish them as curiosities, but 
it abjures them as precedents. They may hang about it, 
as the shrivelled blossom about the formed fruit ; but 
they are dead, and will be sure to disappear as soon as 
they are felt to be troublesome. Common sense tells us 
they do not apply to things as they are ; and, if indivi- 
duals attempt to insist on them, they will but bring on 
themselves the just imputation of vexatiousness and ex- 
travagance. So it is with the Anglican formularies ; 
they are but the expression of the national sentiment, 
and therefore are necessarily modified by it. Did the 


nation grow into Catholicity, they might easily be made 
to assume a Catholic demeanour ; but as it has matured 
in its Protestantism, they must take, day by day, a more 
Evangelical and liberal aspect. Of course I am not say- 
ing this by way of justifying individuals in professing and 
using doctrinal and devotional forms from which they 
dissent ; nor am I denying that words have, or at least 
ought to have, a definite meaning which must not be 
explained away ; I am merely stating what takes place 
in matter of fact, allowably in some cases, wrongly in 
others, according to the strength on the one hand, of 
the wording of the formulary, and of the diverging 
opinion on the other. I say, that a nation's laws are a 
nation's property, and have their life in the national life, 
and their interpretation in the nation's sentiment : and 
where that living intelligence does not shine through 
them, they become worthless and are put aside, whether 
formally or on an understanding. Now Protestantism 
is, as it has been for centuries, the nation's religion : 
and since the semi-patristical Church, which was set up 
for the nation at the Reformation, is the organ of that 
religion, it must live for the nation ; it must hide its 
Catholic aspirations in folios, or in college cloisters ; it 
must call itself Protestant, when it gets into the pulpit ; 
it must abjure antiquity ; for woe to it, if it attempt to 
thrust the wording of its own documents in its master's 
path, if it rely on a passage in its Visitation for the 
Sick, or on an Article of the Creed, or on the tone of its 
Collects, or on a catena of its divines, when the age has 
determined on a theology more in keeping with the pro- 
gress of knowledge ! The antiquarian, the reader of 
history, the theologian, the philosopher, the Biblical 
student may make his protest ; he may quote St. Austin, 



or appeal to the canons, or argue from the nature of the 
case ; but la Heine le veut ; the English people is suffi- 
cient for itself; it wills to be Protestant and progress- 
ive ; and Fathers, councils, schoolmen, Scriptures, saints, 
angels, and what is above them, must give way. What 
are they to it ? It thinks, acts, and is contented, ac- 
cording to its own practical, intelligible, shallow religion ; 
and of that religion its Bishops and its divines, will they 
or will they not, must be exponents \ 

In this way, I say, we are to explain, but in this way 
most naturally and satisfactorily, what otherwise would 
be startling, the late Royal decision to which I have 
several times referred. The great legal authorities, on 
whose report it was made, have not only pronounced, that, 
as a matter of fact, persons who have denied the grace of 
Baptism, had held the highest preferments in the National 
Church, but they felt themselves authorized actually to 
interpret its ritual and its doctrine, and to report to 
Her Majesty that the dogma of baptismal regeneration 
is not part and parcel of the national religion. They 
felt themselves strong enough, in their position, to pro- 
nounce "that the doctrine held by"" the Protestant 
clergyman, who brought the matter before them, " was 
not contrary or repugnant to the declared doctrine of 

' "It is not the practice for Judges to take up points of their own, aud, 
without argument, to decide a case upon them. Lord Eldon used to say, 
that oftentimes hearing an argument in support of an opinion he had so 
taken up, convinced him he had been wrong — a great authority in favour 
of the good sense of the practice, which the Queen's Bench have dis- 
regarded in this case. In the Hampden case, the whole practice of the 
Court for two hundred and fifty years was set at nought by Lord Den- 
man. In this case a course has been taken which has never hitherto 
been followed in questions of a mandamus to a railway, or a criminal 
infoi-mation against a newspaper. And both are Church cases." — Guardian, 
May 1, 1860. 


the Church of England as by law established." The 
question was not whether it was true or not, as they 
most justly remarked, whether from heaven or from hell ; 
they were too sober to meddle with what they had no 
means of determining ; they " abstained from expressing 
any opinion of their own upon the theological correctness 
or error of the doctrine" propounded : the question was, 
not what God had said, but what the English nation 
had willed and allowed ; and though, it must be granted 
that they aimed at a critical examination of the letter of 
the documents, yet it must be granted, on the other 
hand, that their criticism was of a very national cast, 
and that the national sentiment was of great use to them 
in helping them to their conclusions. What was it to 
the nation or its lawyers whether Hooker used the word 
" charity" or " piety," in the extract which they adduced 
from his works, and that " piety" gave one- sense to the 
passage, and " charity" another ? Hooker must speak 
as the existing nation, if he is to be a national authority. 
What though the ritual categorically deposes to the 
regeneration of the infant baptized I The Evangelical 
party, which had had the nerve years before to fix the 
charge of dishonesty on the explanations of the Thirty- 
nine Articles, put forth by its opponents, could all the 
while be cherishing in its breast an interpretation of 
the Baptismal Service, simply contradictory of its most 
luminous declarations. Inexplicable proceeding, if it 
were professing to handle the document in the letter ; 
but not dishonourable nor dishonest, not hypocritical, but 
natural and obvious, on the condition or understanding 
that the nation, which imposes the document, imposes 
its sense ; that by the breath of its mouth it had, as a 
god, made Establishment, Articles, Prayer Book, and all 
that is therein, and could by the breath of its mouth as 


easily and absolutely unmake them again, whenever it 
was disposed ! 

Counsel then and pamphleteers may put forth un- 
answerable arguments in behalf of the Catholic interpre- 
tation of the Baptismal Service ; a long succession of 
Bishops, an unbroken tradition of writers, may have 
faithfully and anxiously guarded it. In vain has the 
Caroline school honoured it by ritual observance ; in vain 
has the Restoration illustrated it by varied learning ; in 
vain did the Revolution retain it as the price for other 
concessions ; in vain did the eighteenth century use it as 
a sort of watchword against Wesley ; in vain has it been 
persuasively developed and fearlessly proclaimed by the 
movement of 1833 ; all this is foreign to the matter be- 
fore us. We have not to inquire what is the dogma of a 
collegiate, antiquarian religion, but what, in the words of 
the Prime Minister, will give " general satisfaction ; " what 
is the religion of Britons. May not the free-born, self-de- 
pendent, animal mind of the Englishman, choose his reli- 
gion for himself? and have lawyers more to do than to state, 
as a matter of fact and history, what that religion is, and 
for three centuries has been I are we to obtrude the myste- 
ries of an external, of a dogmatic, of a revealed system, on a 
nation which intimately feels and has established, that each 
individual is to be his own judge of truth and falsehood in 
matters of the unseen world I How is it possible that the 
National Church, forsooth, should be allowed to dogmatise 
on the point which so immediately affects the nation itself ? 
Why, half the country is unbaptized ; it is difficult to say for 
certain who are baptized ; shall the country unchristianize 
itself? it has not yet advanced to indifference on such a 
matter. Shall it, by a suicidal act, use its own Church 
against itself, as its instrument to cut itself off from the 
hope of another life ? Shall it confine the Christian pro- 


mise within limits, and put restrictions upon grace, when 
it has thrown open trade, removed disabihties, abohshed 
raonopoHes, taken off agricultural protection, and en- 
larged the franchise? — What a day for the defenders 
of the dogmas in past times, if those times had any thing 
to do with the present ! What a day for Bishop Lavington, 
who, gazing on Wesley preaching the new birth at Exeter, 
pronounced Methodism as bad as " Popery ! "" What a 
portentous day for Bampton Lecturers and divinity Pro- 
fessors ! What a day for Bishop Mant, and Archbishop 
Lawrence, and Bishop Van Mildert, and Archbishop 
Sutton, and, as we may trust, what a day had it been for 
Archbishop Howley, taken away on its very dawning ! 
The giant ocean has suddenly swelled and heaved, and 
majestically yet masterfully snaps the cables of the small 
craft which lie upon its bosom, and strands them upon 
the beach. Hooker, Taylor, Bull, Pearson, Barrow, 
Tillotson, Warburton, and Home, names mighty in their 
generation, are broken and wrecked before the power of a 
nation's will. One vessel alone can ride those waves, the 
boat of Peter, the ark of God. 

And now, my brethren, it is plain that this doctrine 
does not stand by itself ; if the grace of Baptism is not 
to be taught dogmatically In the National Church, if it be 
not a heresy to deny it, if to hold it and not to hold it be 
but matters of opinion, what other doctrine stands within 
its pale on a firmer or more secure foundation ? The same 
popular voice which has explained away the wording of the 
Office for Baptism, may of course in a moment dispense 
with the Athanasian Creed altogether. Who can doubt, 
that, if that symbol is not similarly dealt with in course of 
law'in years to come, it is because the present judgment will 
practically destroy its force as efficaciously, and with less 
trouble to the lawyers ? No individual will dare to act 


on views, which he knows to a certainty would be over- 
ruled, as soon as they are brought before a legal tribunal. 
As to the document itself, it will be obvious to allege that 
the details of the Athanasian Creed were never intended 
for reception by National believers; all that was intended, 
(as has before now been avowed) was to uphold a doctrine 
of a Trinity, and that, provided we hold fast this "scrip- 
tural fact," it matters not whether we be Athanasians, 
Sabellians, Tritheists, or Socinians, or rather we shall be 
neither one nor the other of them. Precedents on the other 
hand are easily adducible of Arian, SabeUian, and Unita- 
rian Bishops and dignitaries, and of divines who professed 
that Trinitarianism was a mere matter of opinion, both in 
former times and now. Indeed it may with much reason 
be maintained, were the question before a court, that, 
looking at the matter historically, Locke gave the death- 
blow to the Catholic phraseology on that fundamental 
doctrine among the Anglican clergy ; and it is surely un- 
deniable, that such points as the Eternal generation of 
the Son, the Homousion, and the Hypostatic Union, have 
been silently discarded by the many, and but anxiously 
and apologetically put forward by the few. With this 
existing disposition in the minds of English churchmen 
towards a denial of the Catholic doctrine of the Trinity, I 
surely am not rash in saying, that the recent judgment 
has virtually removed it from their authoritative teaching 

Nor can eternal punishment be received as an Anglican 
dogma, with so little for it in the national formularies, 
against the strong feeling of the age ; nor original sin, in 
which that feeling is countenanced and defended by 
no less an authority of past times than Bishop Jeremy 
Taylor. And much less the inspiration of Scripture, and 
the existence of the evil spirit, doctrines which are not 


mentioned in the Thirty-nine Articles at all. Yet, plain 
though this be, at this moment the Evangelical members 
of the Establishment extol the recent judgment, and are 
transported at the triumph it gives them, as if it might 
not, or would not, in time to come, be turned against 
themselves ; as if, while it directly affected the doctrine of 
baptismal grace, it had no bearing upon those of predes- 
tination, election, satisfaction, justification and others, of 
which they consider themselves so especially jealous. 
Poor victims ! do you dream that the spirit of the age is 
working for you, or are you secretly prepared to go fur- 
ther than you avow ? Some of you at least are honest 
enough to be praising the recent judgment for itself, and 
blind enough not to see what it involves ; and so you 
contentedly and trustfully throw yourselves into the arms 
of the age. But it is " to-day for me, to-morrow for thee ! " 
Do you really think the age is stripping Laud or Bull 
of his authority, in order to set up Calvin or Baxter ? or 
with what expedient are you to elude a power, whose aid 
you have already invoked against your enemies * ? 

♦ The Oxford tutors are more sharp-sighted ; understanding the mental 
state of the junior portion of the University, they see that a decision 
like that of the Privy Council's is fitted to destroy at once what little 
hold the old Anglican system has on them, and to give entrance among 
them to a scepticism on all points of religion. In a strong and spirited 
protest, they quote against the Archbishop the very words he used on 
another occasion, eight or nine years since. Yet his evasive interpretation 
of the Baptismal service is not the fault of the Archbishop, but of the 
Reformers. No member of the Establishment can believe in a system of 
theology of any kind, without doing violence to the formularies. Those 
only go easily along them and the Prayer-Book, who do not think. It is 
remarkable, the Archbishop's book on Apostolical Preaching first 
brought the present writer to a belief in Baptismal regeneration in 
1824. He has the copy still, with his objections marked on the side, 
given him for the purpose of convincing him by a dignitary whom he 
has ever loved, though he has much differed from. Dr. Hawkins. 



For us Catholics, my Brethren, while we clearly recognize 
how things are going, and while we would not accelerate 
the march of infidelity if we could help it, still, if we are 
blessed in converting any of you, we are effecting a certain 
and substantial benefit, which outweighs all points of 
expedience, — the salvation of your souls. I do not under- 
value at all the advantage of institutions, which, though 
not Catholic, keep out evils worse than themselves. 
Some restraint is better than none : systems, which do 
not inculcate Divine truth, yet serve to keep men from 
being utterly hardened against it, when at length it 
comes near them ; they preserve a certain number of 
revealed doctrines in the popular mind ; they familiarize 
it to Christian ideas ; they create religious associations ; 
and thus, remotely and negatively, they may even be said 
to prepare and dispose the soul in a certain sense for 
those inspirations of grace, which, through the merits of 
Christ, are freely given to all men for their salvation, all 
over the earth. It is a plain duty then not to be forward 
in destroying religious institutions, even though not 
Catholic, if we cannot replace them with what is better ; 
but, from fear of injuring them, to shrink from saving 
the souls of the individuals who live under them, would be 
worldly wisdom, treachery to Christ, and uncharitableness 
to His redeemed. 

As to the Catholic Church herself, no vicissitude of 
circumstances can hurt her which allows her fair play. 
If, indeed, from the ultimate resolution of all heresies and 
errors into some one form of infidelity or scepticism, the 
nation was strong enough to turn upon her in persecu- 
tion, then indeed she might be expelled from our land, 
as she has been expelled already. Then persecution would 
do its work, as it did it three centuries ago. But this is 
an extreme case, which is not to be anticipated. Till the 

LECTURE 1. 27 

nation becomes thus unanimous in unbelief. Catholics are 
secured by the collision and balance of religious parties, 
and are sheltered under that claim of toleration which 
each sect prefers for itself. But give us as much as this, 
an open field, we ask no favour ; every form of Protestant- 
ism turns to our advantage. Its establishments of religion 
remind men of that archetypal Church of which they are 
imitators ; its Creeds contain portions of our teaching ; 
its quarrels and divisions serve to break up its traditions, 
and disabuse it of its prejudices ; its scepticism makes it 
turn in admiration and in hope to her, who alone is clear 
in her teaching and consistent in its transmission ; its very 
abuse makes men inquire about her. She fears nothing from 
political parties ; she shrinks from none of them, she can 
coalesce with any. She is not jealous of progress, nor im- 
patient with conservatism, if either be the national will. 
Nor is there any thing to fear, except for the moment and 
for individuals, in that movement towards Pantheism*, 
which excites the special anxiety of many ; for, in truth, 
there is something so repugnant to the feelings of 
man, in systems which deprive God of His perfections, 
and reduce Him to a name, which remove the Creator to 
an indefinite distance from His creatures, under the 
pretence of bringing them near to Him, and refuse Him 
the liberty of sending mediators and ordaining instru- 
ments to connect them with Him, which deny the ex- 
istence of sin, the need of pardon, and the fact of pu- 
nishment, which maintain that man is happy here and 
sufficient for himself, when he feels so keenly his own 
ignorance and desolateness, — and on the other hand, the 
sects and parties round about us so utterly helpless to 

* I am aware that the name of Pantheism is repudiated by several 
writei-s of the school I allude to, but I think it will be found to be the 
ultimate resolution of its principles. 



remedy his evils, and to supply his need, — that the 
preachers of these new ideas from Germany and Amierica 
are really, however much against their will, like Caiaphas, 
prophesying for us. Surely they will find no resting 
place any where, for their feet, and the feet of their 
disciples, but will be tumbled down from one depth of 
blasphemy to another, till they arrive at sheer and naked 
atheism, the reductio ad ahmrdum of their initial prin- 
ciples. Logic is a stem master ; they feel it, they 
protest against it ; they profess to hate it, and would 
fain dispense with it ; but it is the law of their intellec- 
tual nature. Struggling and shrieking, but in vain, will 
they make the inevitable descent into that pit from which 
there is no return, except through the almost miraculous 
grace of God, the grant of which in this life is never 
hopeless. And Israel, without a fight, will see their 
enemies dead upon the sea-shore. 

I will but observe in conclusion, that, in explaining the 
feeling under which I address myself to members of the 
Anglican Church in these lectures, I have advanced one 
step towards fulfilling the object with which I have 
undertaken them. For it is a very common difficulty 
which urges them, when they contemplate submission to 
the Catholic Church, that perhaps they shall thus be 
weakening the communion they leave, which, with what- 
ever defects, they see in matter of fact to be a defence of 
Christianity against its enemies. No, my brethren, if 
the National Church falls, this will be because it is 
national ; because it left the centre of unity in the six 
teenth century, not because you leave it in the present. 
Cranmer, Parker, Jewell, will complete their own work ; 
they who made it, will be its destruction. 



My object in these Lectures, my brethren, is not to con- 
struct any argument in favour of Catholicism, for there is 
no need. Arguments exist in abundance, and of the 
highest cogency, and of the most wonderful variety, pro- 
vided severally by the merciful wisdom of its Divine 
Author, for distinct casts of mind and character ; — so 
much so, that it is often a mistake in controversy to cumu- 
late reasons for what is on many considerations so plain 
already, and the evidence of which is only weakened to the 
individual inquirer, if he is distracted by fresh proofs, con- 
sistent indeed with those which have brought conviction 
to him, but to him less convincing than his own, and at 
least strange and unfamiliar. Every inquirer may have 
enough of positive proof to convince him that Catholi- 
cism is divine ; it is owing to the force of counter-objec- 
tions that his conviction remains either defective or 
unpractical. I consider then that I sliall be ministering 
in my measure to the cause of truth, if I do ever so little 



towards removing the difficulties, or any of them, which 
beset the mind, when it is urged to accept CathoHcism as 
true. It is with this view that I have insisted on the real 
character of the Established Church, and its relation to 
the nation ; for, if it be mainly, as I have represented it, 
a department of government under the temporal sove- 
reign, one at least is struck off from the catalogue of 
your objections. You fear to leave it lest you should, by 
your secession, throw it into the hands of a latitudina- 
rian party ; but it never has been in your hands, nor 
ever under your influence. It is in the hands of the 
nation ; it is mainly what the nation is : such is it, while 
you are in it ; such would it be, if you left it. I do not 
deny you may by your presence retard its downward 
career, but you are not of the importance to it, which 
you fancy. 

Now, in the course of the argument I made a remark, 
which I shall to-day pursue. I spoke of the movement 
which began in the Estabhshment in 1833, or shortly 
before ; and I dwelt on the remarkable fact, that in 
nearly twenty years that movement, though it had ex- 
erted great influence over the views of individuals, yet 
had remained a mere party in the National Church, 
having had as little real influence as is conceivable over 
the National Church itself; and no wonder, if that 
Church be simply an organ or department of the state, 
for in that case all ecclesiastical acts really proceeding 
from the supreme civil government, to influence the 
Establishment is nothing else than to influence the state, 
or even the constitution. 

Now I shall pursue the argument. I shall, by means 
of one or two suggestions, try to bring home to you the 
extreme want of congeniality which has existed between 


the movement of 1833, and the nation at large ; and then, 
assuming that you, my brethren, owe your principles to 
that movement, and that your first duty is to your prin- 
ciples, I shall infer your own want of congeniality with 
the national religion, however you may wish it otherwise ; 
or that you have no concern with it, have no place in it, 
have no reason for belonging to it, and have no responsi- 
bilities towards it. 

I am then to point out to you, that, what is some- 
times called, or rather what calls itself, the Anglo- 
Catholic teaching, is not only a novelty in this age (for to 
prove a thing new to the age, is not enough in order to 
prove it uncongenial), but that while it is a system ad- 
ventitious and superadded to the national rehgion, it is 
moreover, not supplemental, or complemental, or col- 
lateral, or correlative to it, — not implicitly involved in 
it, not developed from it, — nor combining with it, nor 
capable of absorption into it ; but, on the contrary, most 
uncongenial and heterogeneous, floating upon it, a foreign 
substance, like oil upon the water. And my proof shall 
consist, first, of what was augured of it, when it com- 
menced ; secondly, what has been fulfilled concerning it 
during its course. 

As to the auguries with which it started, we need not 
go beyond the first agents of the movement, in order to 
have a tolerably sufficient proof that it had no lot, nor 
portion, nor parentage in the Established Church ; for when 
those who first recommended to her its principles and doc- 
trines are found themselves to have doubted how far they 
were congenial with her, when the very physicians were 
anxious what would come of their own medicines, who 
shall feel confidence in them ? Such, however, was the 
case : its originators confessed that they were forcing 

E 2 4- 


upon the Establishment doctrines from which it revolted, 
doctrines with which it never had given signs of coalescing, 
doctrines which tended they knew not whither. This 
is what they felt, what with no uncertain sound they 
publicly proclaimed. 

For instance, one, who, if any, is the author of the 
movement altogether, and whose writings were published 
after his death, says in one of his letters, " It seems 
agreed among the wise, that we must begin by laying a 
foundation." Again, he writes to a friend, " I am 
getting more and more to feel, what you tell me, about 
the impracticability of making sensible people," that is, 
the high church party of the day, " enter into our eccle- 
siastical views ; and, what is most discouraging, I hardly 
see how to set about leading them to us." Elsewhere 
he asks, " How is it we are so much in advance of our 
generation V And again, "The age is out of joint." And 
again, " I shall write nothing on the subject of church 
grievances, till I have a tide to work with." Further he 
calls the Establishment " an incubus upon the country," 
and, " a upas tree :" and, lastly, within three or four 
months of his death, his theological view still expanding 
and diverging from the existing state of things, he ex- 
claims, " How mistaken we may ourselves be on many 
points, that are only gradually opening on us ' ! " 

Avowals of a like character are made with the utmost 
frankness in the very work which professed formally to 
lay down and defend the new doctrines. The writer 
begins by allowing and apologizing, that he is " dis- 
cussing, rather than teaching, what was meant to be 
simply an article of faith," and that, on the ground that 
" the teaching of the apostles concerning it, is, in a good 

' Froude's Remains, vol. i. 


measure, withdrawn," and that, " we are, so far, left to 
make the best of our way to the promised land by our 
natural resources." The preaching of the doctrines of 
the movement, are compared to the original preaching 
of Christianity ; and this only alleviation is suggested, if 
it be any, that those who are startled at them, could not 
be more startled than " the outcasts to whom the Apos- 
tles preached in the beginning." Nay, it is categorically 
stated, that " they are in one sense as entirely new as 
Christianity when first preached." He continues, " Pro- 
testantism and Popery," by which he means the popular 
Catholic system, " are real religions ; no one can doubt 
about them ; they have furnished the mould in which 
nations have been cast ; but the Via Media, viewed as 
an integral system, has scarcely had existence except on 
paper." Presently he continues, " It still remains to be 
tried, whether what is called Anglo-Catholicism, the reli- 
gion of Andrewes, Laud, Hammond, Butler, and Wilson, 
is capable of being professed, acted On, and maintained in 
a large sphere of action, and through a sufficient period ; 
or whether it be a mere modification or transition state, 
either of Romanism or of popular Protestantism, accord- 
ing as we view it." " It may be argued," he adds, and, as 
he does not deny, argued with plausibility, " that the 
Church of England, as established by law, and existing 
in fact, has never represented a certain doctrine, or been 
the development of a principle, that it has been but a 
name, or a department of the state, or a political party, 
in which religious opinion was an accident, and therefore 
has been various." And this prospectus, as it may be 
called, of a new system, ends by stating that " it is pro- 
posed to offer helps towards the formation of a recognized 
Anglican theology in One of its departments." ..." We 

34 LECTURE 11. 

require a recognized theology," he insists, " and, if the 
present work, instead of being what it is meant to be, a 
first approximation to the required solution, in one de- 
partment of a complicated problem, contains, after all, 
but a series of illustrations demonstrating our need, and 
supplying hints for its removal ; such a result, it is evi- 
dent, will be quite a sufficient return for whatever anxiety 
it has cost the writer to have employed his own judgment 
on so serious a subject '." 

I must add, in justice to this writer, and it is not 
much to say, that he did not entertain the presumptuous 
thought of creating, at this time of day, a new theology 
himself; he considered that a theology, true in itself, 
and necessary for the position of the Anglican Church, 
was to be found in the writings of Andrewes, Laud, 
Bramhall, Stillingfleet, Butler, and other of its divines ; 
but had never been put together, as he expressly de- 
clares. Nor, in spite of his misgivings, was he without 
a persuasion, that the theological system, contained in 
those writers, and derived, as he believed, from the 
primitive fathers, not only ought to be, but might be, 
and, as he hoped, would be, acknowledged and acted 
upon by the Establishment. Yet on the other, I allow, 
of course, and am not loth to allow, that, had he seen 
clearly that antiquity and the Establishment were incom- 
patible with each other, he would promptly have given 
up the Establishment, rather than have rejected anti- 
quity. Moreover, let it be observed, in evidence of his 
misgivings on the point, that when he gets to the end of 
his volume, instead of their being removed, they return 
in a more definite form, and he confesses that "the 
thought, with which we entered upon the subject, is apt to 

' Newman's Prophetical Office. 


recur, when the excitement of the inquiry has subsided, 
and weariness has succeeded, that what has been said is 
but a dream, the wanton exercise, rather than the 
practical conclusions, of the intellect." 

These auguries speedily met with a response, though 
in a less tranquil tone, in every part of the Establish- 
ment, and by each of the schools of opinion within it, — 
the High Church section, the Evangelical, and the Lati- 
tudinarian. They condemned, not only the attempt, 
but the authors of it. The late Dr. Arnold, a man who 
always spoke his mind, avowed that his feelings towards 
a Eoman Catholic were quite different from his feelings 
to the author of the above work. " I think the one,*" 
he continued, "a fair enemy, the other a treacherous 
one. The one is the Frenchman in his own uniform, the 
other is the Frenchman disguised in a red coat. I should 
honour the first, and hang the second." For the 
Evangelical party, it is scarcely necessary to make the 
following extracts from the work of even a cautious and 
careful writer : — " If," says the writer of ' Essays on the 
Church,' "the grievances and warfare of Dissenters against 
it have greatly diminished in interest, a new and gigantic 
evil has arisen up in their room. . . . Popery, not indeed of 
the days of Hildebrand or Leo the Tenth, but Popery as 
it first established itself in the seventh and eighth cen- 
turies, is already among us. . . . Popery has anew arisen 
up among us, in youthful vigour and in her youthful 
attractions. Such is the chief, the greatly preponde- 
rating peril, which besets the Church of England at the 
present day. It has in it all the essential features of 
Popery ; but, apart from this, and were it never to pro- 
ceed beyond the perils to which it has now reached, it is 
fraught with the fearful evil of a withering, parching, 


blighting operation, drying-up and banishing all spiritual 
life and influence from the Church ^^ 

Lastly, a theological professor of the High Church 
section, in an attack which he delivered from the pulpit, 
viewed the movement from another point of view, yet with 
a perfect accordance of judgment with the two writers 
who have been already cited : " Instead of quietly 
acquiescing," he says, "in what they cannot change, 
submitting in silence to their imagined privations, and 
patiently enduring this ' meagreness of Protestantism, ■" 
by a species of ' ecclesiastical agitation,' unexampled in 
obtrusiveness and perseverance, they are unsettling the 
faith of the weak, blinding the judgment of the sober- 
minded, raising the hopes of the most inveterate advo- 
cates of our Keformed and Protestant Church, and, as 
far as a small knot of malcontents can well be supposed 
capable, they are compromising her character and dis- 
turbing her peace *." 

Yet even at this date, in spite of the success which 
for five years had attended him, the apologist for Mr. 
Froude and his friends had felt no greater confidence 
than before in his congeniality with the National Church, 
and on occasion of the last-mentioned attack, scrupled 
not to avow the fact. " Sure I am," said he, " that the 
more stir is made about those opinions which you cen- 
sure, the wider they will spread. Whatever be the 
faults or mistakes of their advocates, they have that 
root of truth in them, which, as I do firmly believe, has 
a blessing with it. / do not pretend to say they will ever 
become widely popular, that is another matter : truth is 

* Essays on the Church, hy a Layman, 1838, pp. 270, 299,300. Ditto, 
1840, p. 401. 

* Faussett's Sermon, Preface to third edition. 


never, or at least never long popular ; nor do I say they 
will ever gain that powerful external influence over the 
many, which truth, vested in the few, cherished, throned, 
energizing in the few, often has possessed ; nor that they 
are not destined, as truth has often been destined, to be 
cast away, and at length trodden under foot as an odious 
thing : but of this I am sure, that, at this juncture, in 
proportion as they are known, they will make their way 
through the community, picking out their own, seeking 
and obtaining refuge in the hearts of Christians, high 
and low, here and there, with this man and that, as the 
case may be ; doing their work in their day, and raising 
a memorial and a witness to this fallen generation of what 
once has been, of what God would ever have, of what 
one day shall be in perfection ; and that, not from what 
they are in themselves, because, viewed in the concrete, 
they are mingled, as every thing human must be, with 
error and infirmity, but by reason of the spirit, the truth, 
the old Catholic life and power which is in them *." 

What was it, then, which the originators of the move- 
ment in question desiderated or doubted, with reference 
to it, in the communion for whose benefit it was in- 
tended ? Why did they dread or doubt lest the prin- 
ciples of St, Athanasius and St. Ambrose should fail to 
take root in the minds of their brethren, and to spread 
through the laity ? In truth, when they feared that 
the good seed would fall, not on a congenial soil, but 
on hard or stony or occupied ground, they were fearing 
lest the National Church, though they did not use the 
word, had not life. Life consists or manifests itself in 
activity of principle. There are various kinds of life, 

' Newman's Letter to Faussett. 

38 l-ECTURE II. 

and each kind is the influence or operation in a body, of 
those principles upon which the body is constituted. 
Each kind of life is to be referred, and is congenial, to 
its own principle. Principles, distinct from each other, 
will not take root and flourish in bodies, to which re- 
spectively they are foreign. One principle has not the 
life of another. The life of a plant is not the same 
as the life of an animated being ; and the life of the 
body is not the same as the life of the intellect ; nor is 
the life of the intellect the same in kind as the life of 
grace ; nor is the life of the Church the same as the life 
of the State. When then these writers doubted whether 
Apostolical principles, as they called them, would spread 
through the laity of England, they were doubting whe- 
ther that laity lived, breathed, energized, in Apostolical 
principles ; whether Apostolical principles were the just 
expression, and the element of the national sentiment ; 
whether the intellectual and moral life of the nation was 
not distinct from the life of the Apostolical age ; and, if 
the Establishment were professedly built upon the prin- 
ciples and professedly partook of the life of the Apostolical 
age, as they knew ought to be the case, then they were 
doubting whether it was what it professed to be. 

There was no doubt at all, there is no doubt at 
all, that the Establishment has some kind of life. No 
one ever doubted it ; and it is triumphantly proved 
by one of its dignitaries, in a passage which I quote : 
— " Surely, my dear friend," says this accomplished 
writer', with a reference to the present controversy, 
" it requires an inordinate faith in one''s own logical 
dreams, an idolizing worship of one's own opinions, 

* Archdeacon Hare, in Record newspaper. 


to believe that the Church of England, blest as she has 
been by God for so many generations, raised as she has 
been by Him to be the mother of so many churches, with 
such a promise shining upon her, and brightening every 
year, that her daughters should spread round the earth, 
that she, who has been chosen by God to be the instru- 
ment of so many blessings, and the presence of the Lord 
and His Spirit with whom was never more manifest than 
at this day, should forfeit her office and authority, as a 
witness of the truth, should be cut off from the body of 
Christ's Church, and should no longer be able to dispense 
the grace of the sacraments, because her highest law 
court has not condemned a proposition asserted by one 
of her ministers, concerning a very obscure and perplex- 
ing question of dogmatical theology. Surely this would 
be an extraordinary delusion . . , for, whatever the dog- 
matical value of the opinion '*'' in question " may be, the 
error is not one which indicates any want of personal 
faith and holiness, or any decay of Christian life in the 

No, I grant it would be very difficult to the imagina- 
tion to receive it as a dogma, that there was no " life" in 
the National Church, nor indeed " faith." The simple 
question is. What is meant by " life" and " faith ?" Will 
the Archdeacon tell us whether he does not mean by faith 
a something very vague and comprehensive? Does he 
mean, as he might say, the faith of St. Austin, and of 
Peter the Hermit, and of Luther, and of Rousseau, and 
of Washington, and of Napoleon Bonaparte ? Faith has 
one meaning to a Catholic, another to a Protestant. 
And life, — is it the religious "life" of England, or of 
Prussia, or is it Cathohc life, that is, the life which 
belongs to Catholic principles? Else we shall be ar- 

40 LECTDRE ir. 

guing in a circle, if Protestants are to prove that they 
have that life, which manifests "the presence of the 
Spirit," because they have, as they are sure to have, 
a life congenial and in conformity to Protestant prin- 
ciples. If then " life" means strength, activity, energy, 
and well-being of any kind, in that case doubtless the 
national religion is alive. It is a great power in the 
midst of us ; it wields an enormous influence ; it re- 
presses a hundred foes ; it conducts a hundred under- 
takings. It attracts men to it, uses them, rewards 
them ; it has thousands of beautiful homes up and down 
the country, where quiet men may do its work and be- 
nefit its people ; it collects vast sums in the shape of 
voluntary offerings, and with them it builds churches, 
prints and distributes innumerable Bibles, books, and 
tracts, and sustains missionaries in all parts of the 
earth. In all parts of the earth it opposes the Catholic 
Church, denounces her as anti-christian, bribes the world 
against her, obstructs her influence, apes her authority, 
and confuses her evidence. In all parts of the world it 
is the religion of gentlemen, of scholars, of men of sub- 
stance, and men of no religion at all. If this be life, — 
if it be life to impart a tone to the court and houses of 
parliament, to ministers of state, to law and literature, 
to universities and schools, and to society, — if it be life 
to be a principle of order in the population, and an organ 
of benevolence and almsgiving towards the poor, — if it 
be life to make men decent, respectable, and sensible, to 
embellish and refine the family circle, to deprive vice of 
its grossness, and to shed a gloss over avarice and am- 
bition, — if indeed it is the life of rehgion to be the first 
jewel in the queen's crown, and the highest step of her 
throne, then doubtless the National Church is replete. 


it overflows with life ; but the question has still to be 
answered, Life of what kind ? Heresy has its life, worldli- 
ness has its life. Is the EstabHshment's life merely 
national life, or is it something more ? Is it Catholic life 
as well ? Is it a supernatural life ? Is it congenial with, 
does it proceed from, does it belong to the principles of 
apostles, martyrs, evangelists, and doctors, the principles 
which the movement of 1833 thought to impose or to 
graft upon it, or does it revolt from them? If it be 
Catholic and Apostolic, it will endure Catholic and Apo- 
stolic principles ; no one doubts it can endure Erastian ; 
no one doubts it can be patient of Protestant ; this is 
the problem which was started by the movement in 
question, the problem for which surely there has been an 
abundance of tests in the course of twenty years. 

But the passage I have quoted suggests a second 
observation. I have spoken of the tests, which the last 
twenty years have furnished, of the real character of the 
Establishment ; for I must not be supposed to be inquir- 
ing whether the Establishment has been unchurched 
during that period, but whether it has been proved to 
be no Church already. The want of congeniality which 
now exists between the sentiments and ways, the moral 
life of the Anglican communion, and the principles, doc- 
trines, traditions of Catholicism, — I speak of this in order 
to prove something done and over long ago, in order to 
show that the movement of 1833 was from the first 
engaged in propagating an unreality. The eloquent 
writer just quoted, in ridicule of the protest made by 
twelve very distinguished men, against the queen's recent 
decision concerning the sacrament of baptism, contrasts 
" logical dreams'" and " obscure and perplexing questions 
of dogmatic theology" with " the promise" in the Estab- 


lishment of a large family " of daughters, spread round 
the earth, shining and brightening every year." Now I 
grant that it has a narrow and technical appearance to 
rest the Catholicity of a religious body on particular 
words, or deeds, or measures, resulting from the temper 
of a particular age, accidentally elicited, and accom- 
plished in minutes or in days. 1 allow it and feel 
it ; that a particular vote of parliament, endured or 
tacitly accepted by bishops and clergy, or by the Metro- 
politans, or a particular appointment, or a particular 
omission, or a particular statement of doctrine, should 
at once change the spiritual character of the body, and 
ipso facto cut it off from the centre of unity and the 
source of grace, is almost incredible. In spite of such 
acts, surely the Anglican Church might be to-day what 
it was yesterday, with an internal power and a superna- 
tural virtue, provided it had not already forfeited them, 
and would go about its work as of old time. It would be 
to-day pretty much what it was yesterday, though in the 
course of the night it had allowed an Anglo- Prussian see 
to be set up in Jerusalem, and subscribed to a disavowal 
of the Athanasian Creed. This is the common sense of 
the matter, to which the mind recurs with satisfaction after 
zeal and ingenuity have done their utmost to prove the 
contrary. Of course I am not saying that individual 
acts do not tend towards, and a succession of acts does 
not issue in, the most serious spiritual consequences ; 
but it is so diflScult to determine the worth of each eccle- 
siastical act, and what its position is relatively to acts and 
events before and after it, that I have no intention of urging 
any argument deduced from such. A generation may not 
be long enough for the completion of an act of schism or 
heresy. Judgments admit of repeal or revei"sal ; enact- 


merits are liable to flaws and informalities ; laws require 
promulgation ; documents admit of explanation ; words 
must be interpreted either by context or by circum- 
stances ; majorities may be analyzed ; responsibilities 
may be shifted. I admit the remark of another writer 
in the present controversy, though I do not accept his 
conclusion : " The Church''s motion," he says, " is not 
that of a machine, to be calculated with accuracy, and 
predicted beforehand ; where one serious injury will dis- 
turb all regularity, and finally put a stop to action. It 
is that of a living body, whose motions will be irregular, 
incapable of being exactly arranged and foretold, and 
where it is nearly impossible to say how much health may 
co-exist with how much disease." And he speaks of the 
line of reasoning which he is opposing, as being "too 
logical to be real. Men," he observes, " do not in the 
practical affairs of life act on such clear, sharp, definite 
theories. Such reasoning can never be the cause of any 
one leaving the Church of England. But it looks well 
on paper, and therefore may perhaps be put forward as 
a theoretical argument by those who, from some other 
feeling, or fancy, or prejudice, or honest conviction, think 
fit to leave us ^" 

Truly said, except in the imputation conveyed in the 
concluding words. I will grant that it is by life without 
us, by life within us, by the work of grace in our commu- 
nion and in ourselves, that we are all of us accustomed 
practically to judge whether that communion be Catholic 
or not ; not by this or that formal act, or historical event. 
I will grant it, though of course it requires some teach- 
ing, and some discernment, and some prayer, to under- 
stand what spiritual life is, and what is the working of 

' Neale's Few Words of Hope, pp. 11, 12. 



grace. However, at any rate, let the proposition pass ; 
transeat ; I will here allow it, at least for argument's sake, 
for, my brethren, I am not here going to look out, in the 
last twenty years, for dates when, and ways in which, the 
Establishment fell from Catholic unity, and lost its divine 
privileges. No ; the question before us is nothing narrow 
or technical ; it has no cut and dried premisses, and 
peremptory conclusions ; it is not whether this or that 
statute or canon at the time of the Reformation, this or 
that " further and further encroachment "" of the State, 
this or that " Act of William IV," constituted the Esta- 
blishment's formal separation from the Church ; not 
whether the Queen's recent decision binds it to heresy ; 
but, whether these acts, and abundant others, are not one 
and all evidences, in one out of a hundred heads of evi- 
dence, that whatever were the acts which constitute, or 
the moment which completed the schism, or rather the 
utter disorganization, of the National Church, cut off and 
disorganized it is. No sober man, I suppose, dreams of 
denying, that if that Church be impure and un-apostolical 
now, it has had no claim to be called " pure and aposto- 
lical " last year, or twenty years back, or for any part of 
the period since the Reformation. 

We have, then, this simple question before us. What 
evidence is there, that the doctrines and principles pro- 
claimed to the world in 1833 had, then or now, any con- 
geniality with the Establishment in which they were 
propagated, or can live in that Establishment ; whether 
they can move and work, whether they can breathe and 
live in it, better than a being with lungs in an exhausted 
receiver ? It was doubted, as we have seen, by their first 
preachers ; how has it been determined by the event ? 
Now, then, to give one or two specimens and illustra- 


tions of a fact too certain, as 1 think, to need much 
dwelling on. 

We know that it is the property of life to be impatient 
of any foreign substance in the body to which it belongs. 
It will be sovereign in its own domain, and it conflicts 
with what it cannot assimilate into itself, and is irritated 
and disordered till it has expelled it. Such expulsion, 
then, is, emphatically, a test of uncongeniality, for it shows 
that the substance ejected, not only is not one with the 
body that rejects it, but cannot be made one with it ; that 
its introduction is not only useless, or superfluous, or 
adventitious, but that it is intolerable. For instance, it 
is usual for High Churchmen to speak of the Establish- 
ment as patient, in matter of fact, both of Catholic and 
Protestant principles ; — most true as regards Protestant, 
and it will illustrate my point to give instances of it. 
No one can doubt, then, that neither Lutheranism nor 
Calvinism is the exact doctrine of the Church of England, 
yet either heresy can readily coalesce with it in matter of 
fact. Persons of Lutheran and Calvinistic, and Luthero- 
Calvinist bodies, are and have been chosen without 
scruple by the English people for husbands and wives, for 
sponsors, for missionaries, for deans and canons, without 
any formal transition from communion to communion. 
The Anglican Prelates write complimentary letters to 
what they call the foreign Protestant Churches, and they 
attend, with their clergy and laity, Protestant places of 
worship abroad. William III. was called to the throne, 
though a Calvinist, and George I., though a Lutheran, 
and that in order to exclude a family who adhered to the 
religion of Rome. The national religion then has a conge- 
niality with Lutheranism and Calvinism, which it has not, 
for instance, with the Greek religion, or the Jewish. Reli- 



gions, as they come, whatever they be, are not indifferent 
to it ; it takes up one, it precipitates another ; it, as 
every religion, has a Hfe, a spirit, a genius of its own, in 
which doctrines He implicit, out of which they are deve- 
loped, and by which they are attracted into it from 
without, and assimilated to it. 

There is a passage in Moehler"'s celebrated work on 
Symbolism, so much to the point here, that I will quote 
it : " Each nation," he says, " is endowed with a peculiar 
character, stamped on the deepest, most hidden parts of 
its being, which distinguishes it from all other nations, 
and manifests its peculiarity in public and domestic life, 
in art and science, in short, in every relation. In every 
general act of a people, the national spirit is infallibly 
expressed ; and should contests, should selfish factions 
occur, the element destructive to the vital principle of the 
whole will most certainly be detected in them, and the 
commotion, excited by an alien spirit, either miscarries, 
or is expelled ; as long as the community preserves its 
self-consciousness, as long as its peculiar genius yet lives, 
and works within it . . . Let us contemplate the religious 
sect founded by Luther himself. The developed doctrines 
of his Church, consigned as they are in the symbolical 
books, retain, on the whole, so much of his spirit, that, 
at the first view, they must be recognized by the observer 
as genuine productions of Luther. With a sure vital 
instinct, the opinions of the Majorists, the Synergists 
and others, were rejected as deadly, and indeed (from 
Luther''s point of view) as untrue, by that community 
whose soul, whose living principle, he was '.'"' 

We have the most vivid and impressive illustrations of 
the truth of these remarks in the history of the Church. 

* Robertson's Transl. vol. ii. pp. 36 — 39. 

LECTURE ri. 47 

The religious life of a people is of a certain quality and 
direction, and these are tested by the mode in which it 
encounters the various opinions, customs, and institutions 
which are submitted to it. Drive a stake into a river's 
bed, and you will at once ascertain which way it is 
running, and at what speed ; throw up even a straw 
upon the air, and you will see which way the wind blows ; 
submit your heretical and your Catholic principle to the 
action of the multitude, and you will be able to pronounce 
at once whether it is imbued with Catholic truth, or with 
heretical falsehood. Take, for example, a passage in the 
history of the fourth century ; let the place be Milan ; the 
date, the Lent of 384, 385 ; the reigning powers Justina 
and her son Valentinian, and St. Ambrose the Archbishop. 
The city is in an uproar ; there is a mob before the 
imperial residence ; the soldiery interferes in vain, and 
Ambrose is despatched by the court to disperse the 
people. A month elapses ; Palm Sunday is come ; the 
Archbishop is expounding the Creed to the catechumens, 
when he is told that the people are again in commotion. 
A second message comes, that they have seized one of the 
erapress"'s priests. The court makes reprisals on the 
tradesmen, some of whom are fined, some thrown into 
prison, while men of higher rank are threatened. We are 
arrived at the middle of Holy Week, and we find soldiers 
posted before one of the churches, and Ambrose has 
menaced them with excommunication. His threat over- 
comes them, and they join the congregation to whom he is 
preaching. The court gives way, the guards are withdrawn 
to their quarters, and the fines are remitted. What does 
all this mean ? There evidently has been a quarrel between 
the court and the Archbishop, and the Archbishop, aided 
by the popular enthusiasm, has conquered. A year passes, 


and there is a second and more serious disturbance. 
Soldiers have surrounded the same church ; yet, dreading 
an excommunication, they let the people enter, but refuse 
to let them pass out. Still the people keep entering ; 
they fill the church, the court-yard, the priests' lodgings; 
and there they i-emain with the Archbishop for two or 
three days, singing psalms, till the soldiers, overcome by 
the music, sing psalms too, and the blockade melts away, 
no one knows how. And now, what was the cause of so 
enthusiastic, so dogged an opposition to the court, on the 
part of the population of Milan ? The answer is plain ; 
it was because they loved Christ so well, and were so 
sensitive of the doctrine of His divinity, that they would 
not allow the reigning powers to take a Church from 
them, and bestow it on the Arians. I conceive, then, 
that Catholicism was emphatically the religion of Milan, 
or that the life of the Milanese Church was a Catholic 

And so, in like manner, when in St. Giles's Church, 
Edinburgh, in July 1635, the dean of the city opened 
the service-book, in the presence of Bishop and privy- 
council, and "a multitude of the meanest sort, most of 
them women," clapped their hands, cursed him, cried 
out, " A pope ! a pope ! antichrist ! stone him ® ;" and 
one flung a stool at the Bishop, and others threw stones 
at doors and windows, and at Privy-seal and Bishop on 
their return, and this became the beginning of a move- 
ment which ended in obtaining the objects at which it 
aimed, — this, I consider, shows clearly enough that the 
religious life at Edinburgh at that day was not Catholic, 
not Anglican, but Presbyterian and Puritan. 

And, to take one more instance, when the seven 
* Hume, Charles the First. 


Bishops were committed to the Tower, and were pro- 
ceeding " down the river to their place of confinement, 
the banks were covered with spectators, who, while they 
knelt and asked their blessing, prayed themselves for a 
blessing on them and their cause. The very soldiers 
who guarded them, and some even of the officers to 
whose charge they were committed, knelt in like manner 
before them, and besought their benediction." When 
they were brought before the Court of King's Bench, 
they " passed through a line of people, who kissed their 
hands and their garments, and begged their blessing ;" 
and when they were admitted to bail, "bonfires were 
made in the streets, and healths drunk to the Seven 
Champions of the Church." Lastly, when they were 
acquitted, the verdict " was received with a shout which 
seemed to shake the hall. . . . All the churches were 
filled with people ; the bells rang from eveiy tower, every 
house was illuminated, and bonfires were kindled in every 
street. Medals were struck in honour of the event, and 
portraits hastily published and eagerly purchased, of men 
who were compared to the seven golden candlesticks, 
and called the seven stars of the Protestant Church \" 
Now here are signs of life, religious life doubtless, but 
they have nothing to do with Catholicism ; they are in- 
dubitable, unequivocable tokens, what the national reli- 
gion was and is, affording a clear illustration of the 
congeniality existing between the spirit or genius of a 
system and its own principles, and not with their oppo- 

Let a people then, Catholic or not, be in ignorance of 
doctrine — let them be a practical busy people, full of 
their secular matters — let them have no keen analytical 

• Southey's Book of the Church. 


view of the principles which govern them, yet they will 
be spontaneously attracted by those principles, and irri- 
tated by, their contraries so, as they can be attracted or 
irritated by no other. Their own principles or their 
contraries, when once sounded in their ears, thi-ill 
through them with a vibration, pleasant or painful, with 
sweet harmony or with grating discord ; under which 
they cannot rest quiet, but relieve their feelings by 
gestures and cries, and startings to and fro, and ex- 
pressions of sympathy or antipathy towards others, and 
at length by combination, and party, and vigorous ac- 
tion. When then the note of Catholicism, as it may be 
called, was struck seventeen years since, and while it has 
sounded louder and louder in the national ear, what has 
been the response of the national sentiment? It had 
many things surely in its favour; it sounded from a 
centre which commanded attention — it sounded strong 
and full ; nor was it intermitted or checked or lowered 
by the opposition, nor drowned by the clamour which 
it occasioned, while, at length, it was re-echoed and 
repeated from other centres with zeal and energy and 
sincerity and effect, as great as any cause could even desire 
or could ask for. So far, no movement could have more 
advantage with it than it had ; and, as it proceeded, it 
did not content itself with propagating an abstract theo- 
logy, but it took a part in the public events of the day ; 
it interfered with court, with ministers, with university 
matters, and with counter-movements of whatever kind. 

And, moreover, which is much to the purpose, it ap- 
pealed to the people, and that on the very ground that 
it was Apostolical in its nature. It made the expe- 
riment of this appeal the very test of its Apostolicity. 
" I shall offend many men," said one of its organs, " when 


I say, we must look to the people ; but let them give me 
a hearing. Well can I understand their feelings. Who, 
at first sight, does not dislike the thoughts of gentlemen 
and clergymen depending for their maintenance and their 
reputation on their flocks ? of their strength, as a visible 
power, lying, not in their birth, the patronage of the great, 
or the endowments of the Church, as hitherto, but in the 
homage of a multitude ? But, in truth, the prospect is 
not so, bad as it seems at first sight. The chief and 
obvious objection to the clergy being thrown on the 
people, lies in the probable lowering of Christian views, 
and the adulation of the vulgar, which would be its con- 
sequence ; and the state of dissenters is appealed to as 
an evidence of the danger. But let us recollect that we 
are an Apostolical body ; we were not made, nor can be 
unmade, by our flocks ; and, if our influence is to depend 
on them, yet the Sacraments reside with us. We have 
that with us, which none but ourselves possess, the 
mantle of the Apostles ; and this, properly understood 
and cherished, will ever keep us from being the creatures 
of a population*." 

Here then was a challenge to the nation to de- 
cide between the movement and its opponents ; and 
how did the nation meet it ? When clergymen of 
Latitudinarian theology were promoted to dignities, 
did the faithful of the diocese, or of the episcopal 
city, rise in insurrection ! Did parishioners blockade 
a church's doors to keep out a new incumbent, who re- 
fused to read the Athanasian Creed ? Did vestries feel 
an instinctive reverence for the altar, as soon as that reve- 
rence was preached ? Did the organs of public opinion 
pursue with their invectives those who became dissenters 
* Church of the Fathers. 


or Irvingites ? Was it a subject of popular indignation, 
discussed and denounced in railway trains and omnibuses 
and steam-boats, in clubs and shops, in episcopal charges, 
and at visitation dinners, if a clergyman explained away 
the baptismal service, or professed his intention to leave 
out portions of it in ministration ? Did it rouse the guards 
or the artillery to find that the Bishop, where they were 
stationed, was a Sabellian ? Was it a subject for public 
meetings if a recognition was attempted of foreign Pro- 
testant ordinations? Did animosity to heretics of the 
day go so far as to lead speakers to ridicule their persons 
and their features, amid the cheers of sympathetic 
hearers ? Did petitions load the tables of the Commons 
from the mothers of England or young men''s associations, 
because the Queen went to a Presbyterian service, or a 
high minister of state was an infidel ? Did the Bishops cry 
out and stop their ears on hearing that one of their body 
denied original sin or the grace of ordination ? Was there 
nothing in the course of the controversy to show what 
the nation thought of the controversy ? . . . . Yes, I hear a 
cry from an episcopal city ; I have before my eyes one 
scene, and it is a type and earnest of many more. Once 
in a way, there were those among the authorities of the 
Establishment who made certain recommendations con- 
cerning the mode of conducting Divine worship : simple 
these in themselves, and perfectly innocuous, but they 
looked like the breath, the shadow of the movement, they 
seemed an omen of something more to come ; they were 
the symptoms of some sort of ecclesiastical favour be- 
stowed on its adherents. The newspapers, the organs of 
the political, mammon- loving community, of those vast 
multitudes in all ranks, who are allowed by the Anglican 
Church to do nearly what they will for six, if not seven 


days in the week, who, in spite of the theological contro- 
versies roUing over their heads, could buy and sell and 
manufacture and trade at their pleasure ; who might be 
unconcerned, if they would, and go their own way, and "live 
and let live," the organs, I say, of these multitudes kindle 
with indignation, and menace, and revile, and denounce, 
because the Bishops in question suffer their clergy to de- 
liver their sermons, as well as the prayers, in a surplice. It 
becomes a matter of popular interest. There are mobs in 
the street, houses are threatened, hfe is in danger, because 
only the gleam of Apostolical principles, in their faintest, 
wannest expression, is cast inside a building which is the 
home of the national religion. The very moment that Ca- 
tholicism ventures out of books, and cloisters, and studies, 
towards the national house of prayer, when it lifts its 
hand, or its very eyebrow towards this people so tolerant 
of heresy, at once the dull and earthly mass is on fire. It 
would be little or nothing, though the minister baptized 
without water, though he gave away the consecrated 
wine, though he denounced fasting, though he laughed at 
virginity, though he interchanged pulpits with a Wes- 
leyan or Baptist, though he defied his Bishop ; he might 
be blamed, he might be disliked, he might be remon- 
strated with ; but he would not touch the feelings of men ; 
he would not inflame their minds ; but, bring home to 
them the very thought of Catholicism, hold up a surplice, 
and the religious building is as full of excitement and 
tumult as St. Victor's at Milan, in the cause of ortho- 
doxy, or St. Giles's, Edinburgh, for the Kirk. 

"The uproar commenced," says a contemporary account, 
"with a general coughing down; several persons then moved 
to the door, making a great noise in their progress; a young 
woman went off in a fit of hysterics, uttering loud shrieks, 


whilst a mob outside besieged the doors of the building. 
A cry of ' fire' was raised, followed by an announcement 
that the church doors were closed, and a rush was made 
to burst them open. Some cried out, ' Turn him out,' 
' pull it off him.' In the galleries the uproar was at its 
height, whistling, cat-calls, hurrahing and such cries as 
are heard in theatres, echoed throughout the edifice. 
The preacher still persisted to read his text, but was 
quite inaudible ; and, the row increased, some of the 
congregation waving their hats, standing on the seats, 
jumping over them, bawling, roaring, and gesticulating, 
like a mob at an election. The reverend gentleman, in 
the midst of the confusion, dispatched a message to the 
mayor, requesting his assistance, when one of the con- 
gregation addressed the people, and also requested the 
preacher to remove the cause of the ill-feeling which had 
been excited. Then another addressed him in no mea- 
sured terms, and insisted on his leaving the pulpit. At 
length the mayor, the superintendent of the police, 
several constables, also the chancellor and the arch- 
deacon, arrived. The mayor enforced silence, and, after 
admonishing the people, requested the clergyman to leave 
the pulpit for a few minutes, which he declined to do, — 
gave out his text, and proceeded with his discourse. 
The damage done to the interior of the church is said to 
be very considerable." I believe I am right in supposing 
that the surplice has vanished from that pulpit from that 
day forward. Here at length certainly are signs of life, 
but not the life of the Catholic Church. 

And now to draw ray conclusion from what I have 
been following out, if I have not sufficiently done so 
already. If, my brethren, your reason, your faith, your 


affections, are indissolubly bound up with the holy prin- 
ciples which you have been taught, if you know they are 
true, if you know their life and their power, if you know 
that nothing else is true ; surely you have no portion or 
sympathy with systems which reject them. Seek them 
in their true home. If your Church rejects your prin- 
ciples, it rejects you ; nor dream of indoctrinating it with 
them by remaining ; every thing has its own nature, and 
that nature is its identity. You cannot change your 
Establishment into a Church without a miracle. It is 
what it is, and you have no means of acting upon it ; you 
have not what Archimedes looked for when he would 
move the world, the fulcrum of his lever, while you are 
one with it. It acts on you, while you act on it ; you 
cannot employ it against itself. If you would make 
England Catholic, you must go forth on your mission from 
the Catholic Church ; you have duties to the Establish- 
ment, it is the duty, not of owning its rule, but of con- 
verting its members. O my brethren, Kfe is short, waste 
it not in vanities ; dream not ; halt not between two 
opinions ; wake from a dream in which you are, not profit- 
ing your neighbour, but imperilling your own souls. 



I AM proposing, my brethren, in these Lectures, to 
answer several of the objections which are urged against 
quitting the National Communion for the Catholic 
Church. It has been a very common and natural idea of 
those who belong to the movement of 1833, as it was the 
idea of its originators, that, the Nation being on its way 
to give up revealed truth, all those who wished to receive 
that truth in its fulness, and to resist its enemies, were 
called on to make use of the National Church, to which 
they belonged, whose formularies they received, as their 
instrument for that purpose. I answer them, that their 
attempt is hopeless, because the National Church is 
strictly part of the Nation, in the same way that the Law 
or the Parliament is part of the Nation, and therefore, as 
the Nation changes, so will the National Church change. 
That Church, then, cannot be used against the spirit of 
the age, except as a drag on a wheel ; for nothing can 
really i-esist the Nation, except what stands on an inde- 
pendent basis. It must say and will say, just what the 


Nation says, though it may be some time in saying it. 
Next, having thus shown that the National Church is 
absolutely one with the Nation, I proceeded further to 
show that, on the other hand, the National Church is 
absolutely heterogeneous to the Apostohcal or Anglo- 
Oatholic party of 1838 ; so that, while the National 
Church is part of the Nation, the movement, on the 
contrary, has no part or place in the National Church. 
To aim then at making the Nation Catholic by means of 
the Church of England was something like evangelizing 
Turkey by means of Islamism ; and, as the Turks would 
feel serious resentment at hearing the Gospel in the 
mouths of their Muftis and MoUahs, so was, and is, the 
English Nation provoked, not persuaded, by Catholic 
preaching in the Establishment. 

And I rest the proof of these two statements on incon- 
trovertible facts going on during the last twenty years, 
and now before our eyes ; for, first, the National Church 
has changed and is changing with the Nation, and 
secondly, the Nation and Church have been indignant, 
and are indignant, with the movement of 1833. I con- 
ceive, that, except in imagination and in hope, there are 
no symptoms whatever of the National Church prevent- 
ing those changes of progress, as they are called, whether 
in the Nation or in itself, though it may retard them ; 
nor any symptoms whatever of its welcoming those back- 
ward changes, to which it is invited under the name of 
primitive and Apostohcal truth. The National Church is 
the slave of the Nation and the opponent of the move- 
ment, which has done no more than form a party in the 
one to the annoyance of the other. 

And now I come to a second objection, which shall be 

LECTURE iir. 59 

ray subject to-day. An inquirer then may say, " This is 
a very unfair and one-sided view of the matter. I grant, 
indeed, I cannot' deny, that the movement has but formed 
a party in the National Church. I grant it has no 
hold on the Church, that it does not coalesce with it, that 
it hangs loose of it ; nay, I grant that this want of con- 
geniality comes out clearer and clearer year by year, so 
that the Anglican party has never appeared more dis- 
tinct from the Establishment, and foreign to it, than at 
this moment, when State, and Bishops, and people have 
cast it off, and its efforts, whether to alter the constitu- 
tion of the Establishment, or to preserve its doctrine, 
have failed and are failing. I grant all this ; I am 
forced in fairness to grant it, or rather, it will be taken 
for granted by all men without my granting. But still, 
so far is undeniable, that that movement of 1833 issued 
forth from the National Church ; this at least is an in- 
controvertible fact : whatever light, life, or strength it 
has possessed, or possesses, from the National Church 
was it derived. To the Sacraments, to the ordinances, 
to the teaching of the National Church it owes its being 
and its continuance ; and, if it be its offspring, it belongs 
to it, it is cognate to it, and cannot be really alien to it ; 
and great sin and undutifulness, ingratitude, presumption, 
and cruelty, there must be in leaving it." This is a con- 
sideration which is urged with great force against affec- 
tionate and diffident minds, and becomes an insurmount- 
able difficulty in the way of their joining the Catholic 
Church. It is pressed upon them : — " The National 
Church is the Church of your baptism, and therefore to 
leave it, is to abandon your Mother." Now then let us 
examine what is the real state of the case. 

We see then certainly, a multitude of persons all over 
G 2 


the country, who, in the course of the last twenty years, 
have been roused to a rehgious hfe by the influence of 
principles professing to be those of the Primitive Church, 
and put forth by the National Clergy. Every year has 
added to their number ; nor has it been a mere profession 
of opinion which they took up, or an exercise of the 
intellect ; not a fashion or taste of the hour, but a rule of 
life. They have subjected their wills, they have chastened 
their hearts, they have subdued their affections, they have 
submitted their reason. Devotions, communions, fast- 
ings, privations, almsgiving, pious munificence, self-deny- 
ing occupations, have marked the spread of the principles 
in question ; which have moreover been adorned and 
recommended in those who adopted them by a consis- 
tency, grace, and refinement of conduct, no where else 
to be found in the National Church. Such are the 
characteristics of the party in question ; and, moreover, 
its members themselves expressly attribute their advance- 
ment in the religious life to the use of the ordinances of 
their own communion. They have found, they say, as a 
matter of fact, that, as they attended them, they became 
more strong in obedience and dutifulness, had more 
power over their passions, and more love towards God 
and man. " If then," they may urge, " you confront us 
with these external facts, which have formed the subjects 
of your first and second Lectures, here are our internal 
facts to meet them ; our own experience, serious, sober, 
practical, outweighs a hundred-fold representations which 
may be logical, dazzling, irrefragable ; but which still, as 
we ourselves know better than any one, whatever be the 
real explanation of them, are fallacious and untrue." 

Here then we are brought to the question of the 
internal evidence, which is alleged in favour of a real, 


however recondite, connexion of the (so-called) Anglo- 
Catholic party with the National Church. It is said, 
that, however you are to account for it, there is the fact 
of a profound intimate relationship, a spiritual bond, 
between the one and the other ; that party has risen out 
of what seems so earthly, so inconsistent, so feeble, and 
is sustained by it ; and, in fact, does but illustrate the 
great maxim of the Gospel, that the weak shall be strong, 
and the despised shall be glorious. Taking their stand in 
this evangelical promise and principle, the persons of 
whom I speak are quite careless of argument, which 
silences without touching them. Their opponents may 
triumph, if they will ; but, after all, there certainly must 
be some satisfactory explanation of the difficulties of their 
position, if they knew what it was. The question is 
deeper than argument, and it is very easy to be captious 
and irreverent. It is not to be handled by intellect and 
talent, or decided by logic. They are in a very anomalous 
state of things, a state of transition ; they must submit 
for a time to be without a theory of the Church, without 
an intellectual basis on which to plant themselves. It 
would be an utter absurdity for them to leave the 
Establishment, merely because they do not at the moment 
see how to defend their staying. Such accidents will 
happen in large and complicated questions ; they have 
light enough to guide them practically, first, because 
even though they wished to move ever so much, they see 
no place to move into ; and, next, because, however it 
comes to pass, however contrary it may be to scientific 
rule, to Apostles, Scripture, Fathers, Saints, common- 
sense, and the simplest principles of reason, they are, in 
matter of fact, abundantly blest where they are. Cer- 
tainly it is vexatious that the Privy Council should have 


decided as it has done ; vexatious, not to know what to 
say about the decision ; vexatious, inconvenient, per- 
plexing, but nothing more. It is not a real difficulty, 
but only an annoyance, to be obliged to say something to 
quiet their people, and not to have a notion what. How- 
ever, they must do their best ; and, though it is true, 
they find that one of their friends uses one argument, 
another another, and these are inconsistent with one 
another, still that is an accidental misery of their posi- 
tion, and it will not last for ever. Brighter times are 
coming; meanwhile, they must, with resignation, suffer the 
shame, scorn of man, and distrust of friends, which is 
their present portion ; a little patience, and the night will 
be over ; their Athanasius will come at length, to defend 
and to explain the truth, and their present constancy 
will be their future reward. 

Now, as I have no desire to imitate a line of conduct 
which I cannot approve, I will not follow them in leaving 
the question unsettled : I will not content myself with 
insisting upon the external view of the subject, which is 
against them, leaving them in possession of that argu- 
ment from the inward evidences of grace, on which they 
especially rely. I have no intention at all of evading their 
position, — I mean to attack it. I feel intimately what is 
true in it, and I feel where it halts ; so, to state their 
arguments fairly, I will not extemporize words of my own, 
but I will express it in the language of a writer, who, 
when he used it, belonged to the Established Church. 

" Surely," he says, " as the only true religion is that 
which is seated within us, a matter, not of words, but of 
things; so the only satisfactory test of religion is something 
within us. If religion be a personal matter, its reasons 


also should be personal. Wherever it is present, in the 
world or in the heart, it produces an effect, and that effect 
is its evidence. When we view it as set up in the world, 
it has its external proofs, when as set up in our hearts, it 
has its internal ; and that, whether we are able to elicit 
them ourselves, and put them into shape or not. Nay, 
with some little limitation and explanation it might be 
said, that the very fact of a religion taking root within 
us, is a proof, so far, that it is true. If it were not true 
it would not take root. Religious men have, in their 
own religiousness, an evidence of the truth of their 
religion. That religion is true which has power, and so 
far as it has power ; nothing but what is divine can 
renew the heart. And this is the secret reason why 
religious men believe, whether they are adequately con- 
scious of it or no, whether they can put it into words or 
no ; vi/. their past experience that the doctrine which 
they hold is a reality in their minds, not a mere opinion, 
and has come to them, ' not in word, but in power.' And 
in this sense the presence of religion in us is its own 
evidence '." 

Again, — 

" If then, we are asked for ' a reason of the hope that 
is in us,' why we are content, or rather thankful, to be 
in that Church, in which God's providence has placed us, 
would not the reasons be some or other of these, or 
rather all of them, and a number of others besides, which 
these may suggest, deeper than they ? 

"1.1 suppose a religious man is conscious that God 
has been with him, and given him whatever he has of 
good within him. He knows quite enough of himself to 

' Newman's Sermons of the Day, pp. 390, 891. 


know how fallen he is from original righteousness, and he 
has a conviction, which nothing can shake, that without 
the aid of his Lord and Saviour, he can do nothing aright. 
I do not say he need recollect any definite season when 
he turned to God, and gave up the service of sin and 
Satan ; but in one sense, every season, every year is such 
a time of turning. I mean, he ever has experience, just 
as if he had hitherto been living to the world, of a con- 
tinual conversion ; he is ever taking advantage of holy 
seasons and new providences, and beginning again. The 
elements of sin are still alive within him ; they still tempt 
and influence him, and threaten when they do no more ; 
and it is only by a continual fight against them that he pre- 
vails ; and what shall persuade him that his power to fight is 
his own, and not from above ? And this conviction of a 
divine presence with him is stronger, according to the length 
of time during which he has served God, and to his advance 
in holiness. The multitude of men, nay, a great number 
of those who think themselves religious, do not aim at holi- 
ness, and do not advance in holiness ; but consider what a 
great evidence it is that God is with us, so far as we have 
it. Behgious men, really such, cannot but recollect in 
the course of years, that they have become very different 
from what they were. In the course of years a religious 
person finds that a mysterious unseen influence has been 
upon him and changed him. He is indeed very different 
from what he was. His tastes, his views, his judgments 
are different. You will say that time changes a man as 
a matter of course; advancing age, outward circum- 
stances, trials, experience of life. It is true ; and yet I 
think a religious man would feel it little less than sacri- 
lege, and almost blasphemy, to impute the improvement 
in his heart and conduct, in his moral being, with which 


he has been favoured in a certain sufficient period, to 
outward or merely natural causes. He will be unable to 
force himself to do so ; that is to say, he has a conviction, 
which it is a point of religion with him not to doubt, which 
it is a sin to deny, that God has been with him. And this 
is, of course, a ground of hope to him that God will be with 
him still ; and if he, at any time, fall into religious per- 
plexity, it may serve to comfort him to think of it^'" 

And again, — 

" I might go on to mention a still more solemn subject, 
viz. the experience which, at least, certain religious per- 
sons have of the awful sacredness of our sacraments and 
other ordinances. If these are attended by the presence 
of Christ, surely we have all that a Church can have in 
the way of privilege and blessing. The promise runs, 
' Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the 
worfd.' That is a Church where Christ is present ; 
this is the very definition of the Church. The question 
sometimes asked is. Whether our services, our holy 
seasons, our rites, our sacraments, our institutions, really 
have with them the presence of Him who thus promised I 
If so, we are part of the Church; if not, then we are 
but performers in a sort of scene or pageant, which may 
be religiously intended, and which God in His mercy 
may visit ; but if He visits, will in visiting go beyond 
His own promise. But observe, as if to answer to the 
challenge, and put herself on trial, and to give us a test 
of her Catholicity, our Church boldly declares of her 
most solemn ordinance, that he who profanes it incurs 
the danger of judgment. She seems, like Moses, or the 
Prophet from Judah, or Elijah, to put her claim to issue, 

» Ibid. pp. 394—396. 


not so openly, yet as really, upon the fulfilment of a cer- 
tain specified sign. Now she does not speak to scare 
away the timid, but to startle and subdue the unbeliev- 
ing, and withal to assure the wavering and perplexed ; 
and I conceive that in such measure as God wills, and 
as is known to God, these effects follow. I mean, that 
we really have proofs among us, though, for the most 
part, they will be private and personal, from the nature 
of the case, of clear punishment coming upon profana- 
tions of the holy ordinance in question ; sometimes very 
fearful instances, and such as serve, while they awe be- 
holders, to comfort them ; — to comfort them, for it is 
plain, if God be with us for judgment, surely He is with 
us for mercy also : if He punishes, why is it but for pro- 
fanation ? And how can there be profanation, if there is 
nothing to be profaned ? Surely He does not manifest His 
wrath, but where He has first vouchsafed His grace *." 

I might quote much more to the same purpose ; if I 
do not, it is not that I fear the force of the argument, 
but the length to which it runs. 

Now in this preference of internal evidences to those 
which are simply outward, there is a great principle of 
truth. It requires much guarding, indeed, and explain- 
ing; but I suppose in matter of fact, that the notes 
of the Church, as they are called, are chiefly intended, 
as this writer says, as guides and directions into the 
truth, for those who are as yet external to it, and that 
those who are within it have prima facie evidences of 
another and more personal kind. I grant it, and I make 
use of my admission ; for one inward evidence at least 

s Ibid. pp. 400, 401. 


Catholics have, which this writer had not — certainty ; I do 
not say, of course, that what seems hke certainty is a 
sufficient evidence to an individual that he has found the 
truth, for he may mistake obstinacy or blindness for cer- 
tainty ; but, at any rate, the absence of certainty is a 
clear proof that a person has not yet found it, — and at 
least a Catholic knows well, even if he cannot urge it in 
argument, that the Church is able to communicate to 
him that gift. Now no one can read the series of 
arguments from which I have quoted, without being 
struck by the author''s clear avowal of doubt, in spite 
of his own reasonings, on the serious subject which is 
engaging his attention. He longed to have faith in the 
National Church, and he could not. " What want we,'' 
he exclaims, " hut faith in our Church \ With faith we 
can do every thing ; without faith we can do nothing *." 
So all these inward notes which he enumerates, whatever 
\)[\&\v 'prima facie force, did not reach so far as to implant 
even conviction in his own breast ; they did not, after all, 
prove to him that connexion between the National 
Church and the spiritual gifts which he recognized in 
his party, which he fain would have established, and 
which they would fain establish to whom I am now 
addressing myself. 

But to come to the gifts themselves. You tell me, 
my brethren, that you have the clear evidence of the 
influences of grace in your hearts, by its effects sensible 
at the moment or permanent in the event. You tell me, 
that you have been converted from sin to holiness, or 
that you have received great support and comfort under 
trial, or that you have been carried over very special 

* Ibid. p. 430. 


temptations, though you have not submitted yourselves 
to the CathoHc Church. More than this, you tell me of 
the peace, and joy, and strength which you have expe- 
rienced in your own ordinances. You tell me, that when 
you began to go weekly to communion, you found your- 
selves wonderfully advanced in purity. You tell me, 
that you went to confession, and you never will believe 
that the hand of God was not over you at the moment 
when you received absolution. You were ordained, and 
a fragrance breathed around you ; you hung over the 
dead, and you all but saw the happy spirit of the de- 
parted. This is what you say, and the like of this ; and 
I am not the person, my dear brethren, to quarrel with 
the truth of what you say. I am not the person to be 
jealous of such facts, nor to wish you to contradict your 
own memory and your own nature ; nor am I so un- 
grateful to God's former mercies to myself, to have the 
heart to deny them in you. As to miracles indeed, if 
such you mean, that of course is a matter which might 
lead to dispute ; but, if you merely mean to say, that the- 
supernatural grace of God, as shown either at the time or 
by consequent fruits, has overshadowed you at certain 
times, has been with you when you were taking part 
in the Anglican ordinances, I have no wish, and a 
Catholic has no anxiety, to deny it. 

Why should I deny to your memory what is so plea- 
sant in mine ? Cannot I too look back on many years 
past, and many events, in which I myself experienced 
what is now your confidence? Can I forget the happy 
life I have led all my days, with no cares, no anxieties 
worth remembering; without desolateness, or fever of 
thought, or gloom of mind, or doubt of God's love to 
me and providence over me ? Can I forget, — I never can 



forget, — the day when in my youth I first bound myself to 
the ministry of God in that old church of St. Fridesvvide, 
the patroness of Oxford I Nor how I wept most abun- 
dant, and most sweet tears, when I thought what I then 
had become ; though I looked on it then as no sacramental 
rite, nor even to baptism ascribed any supernatural virtue t 
Can -I wipe out from my memory, or wish to wipe out, 
those happy Sunday mornings, light or dark, year after 
year, when I celebrated your communion -rite in my own 
Church of St. Mary's ; and in the pleasantness and joy 
of it heard nothing of the strife of tongues which sur- 
rounded its walls 1 When, too, shall I not feel the sooth- 
ing recollection of those dear years which I spent in 
retirement, in preparation for my deliverance from 
Egypt, asking for light, and by degrees gaining it, with 
less of temptation in my heart, and sin on my con- 
science, than ever before! O, my dear brethren, my 
Anglican friends, I give you credit for what I have 
experienced myself. Provided you be in good faith, if 
you are not trifling with your conscience, if you are 
resolved to follow whithersoever God shall lead, if the 
ray of conviction has not fallen on you, and you have 
shut your eyes to it ; then, anxious as I am about you 
for the future, and dread as I may till you are converted, 
that perhaps, when conviction comes, it will come in 
vain ; yet still, looking back at the past years of your 
life, I recognize what you say, and bear witness to its 
truth. Yet what has this to do with the matter in 
hand 1 I admit your fact ; do you, my brethren, admit, in 
turn, my explanation of it. It is the explanation ready 
provided by the Catholic Church, provided in her general 
teaching, quite independently of your particular case, not 
made for the occasion, only applied when it has arisen ; 


listen to it, and see whether you admit it or not as true, 
if it be not sufficiently probable, or possible if you will, 
to invalidate the argument on which you so confidently 

Surely you ought to know the Catholic teaching on 
the subject of grace, in its bearing on your argument, 
without my insisting on it. Spiritus Domini replevit 
orhem terrarum. Grace is given for the merits of Christ 
all over the earth ; there is no corner, even of Paganism, 
where it is not present, present in each heart of man in 
real sufficiency for his ultimate salvation. Not that the 
grace presented to each is such, as at once to bring him 
to heaven ; but it is sufficient for a beginning. It is suffi- 
cient to enable him to plead for other grace, and that second 
grace is such as to impetrate a third grace ; and thus the 
soul is led on from grace to grace, and from strength to 
strength, till at length it is, so to say, in very sight of 
heaven, if the gift of perseverance does but complete the 
work. Now here observe, it is not certain that a soul 
which has the first grace will have the second ; the grant 
of the second depends on its use of the first. Again, it 
may have the first and second, and yet not the third ; or 
from the first on to the nineteenth, and not the twen- 
tieth. We mount up by steps towards God, and, alas ! 
it is possible that a soul may be courageous and bear up 
for nineteen steps, and stop and faint at the twentieth. 
Nay, further than this, a soul may go forward till it 
arrives at the very grace of contrition, a contrition so 
loving, so sin-renouncing, as to bring it at once into a 
state of reconciliation, and clothe it in the vestment of 
justice ; and yet it may yield to the further trials which 
beset it and fall away. 

Now all this may take place even outside the Church, 


and consider what at once follows from it. This fol- 
lows in the first place, that men there may be, not 
Catholics, really obeying God and rewarded by Him, 
nay in His favour, with their sins forgiven and with a 
secret union with that heavenly kingdom to which they 
do not visibly belong, who are, through their subsequent 
failure, never to reach it. There may be those who are 
increasing in grace and knowledge, and approaching 
nearer to the Catholic Church every year, who are not 
in the Church, and never will be. The highest gifts and 
graces are compatible with ultimate reprobation. As 
regards then the evidences of sanctity in members of 
the National Establishment, on which you insist, Catho- 
lics are not called on to deny them. We think such 
instances are few, nor so eminent as you are accustomed 
to fancy ; but we do not wish to deny, nor have any 
difficulty in admitting, such facts as you have to adduce, 
whatever they be. We do not think it necessary to 
carp at every instance of supernatural excellence among 
Protestants when it comes before us, or to explain it 
away; all we know is, that the grace given them is 
intended ultimately to bring them into the Church, and 
if it does not tend to do so, it will not ultimately profit 
them ; but we as little deny its presence in their souls 
as Protestants themselves, and as the fact is no per- 
plexity to us, it is no triumph to them. 

And secondly, in like manner, whatever be the comfort 
or the strength attendant upon the use of the national 
ordinances in the case of this or that person, a Catholic 
may admit it without scruple, for it is no evidence to 
him in behalf of those ordinances themselves. It is 
the teaching of the CathoHc Church from time imme- 
morial, and independent of the present controversy, that 

72 LKCTUllb; IIT. 

grace is given in a sacred ordinance in two ways, viz. to 
use the scholastic distinction, ex opere operantis and ex 
opere operato. Grace is given ex opere operato, when, the 
proper dispositions being supposed in the recipient, it is 
given through the ordinance ; it is given ex opere ope- 
rantis, when, whether there be outward sign or no, the 
inward energetic act of the recipient is the instrument 
of it. Thus Protestants say that justification, for in- 
stance, is gained by faith as by an instrument, ex opere 
operantis ; thus Catholics also commonly believe, that the 
benefit arising from the use of holy water accrues, not ex 
opere operato, or by means of the element itself, but ex 
opere operantis, through the devout mental act of the per- 
son using it, and the prayers of the Church. So again, 
the Sacrifice of the Mass benefits the person for whom it 
is offered ex opere operato, whatever be the character of 
the celebrating Priest ; but it benefits him more or less, 
ex opere operantis, according to the degree of sanctity 
which the Priest has attained, and the earnestness with 
which he offers it. Again, baptism, whether adminis- 
tered by man or woman, saint or sinner, heretic or 
Catholic, regenerates an infant ex opere operato ; on the 
other hand, in the case of the baptism of blood, as it was 
called, that is, the martyrdom of unbaptized persons desir- 
ing the sacrament, but unable to obtain it, a discussion 
has arisen, whether the martyr was justified ex opere 
operato or ex opere operantis, that is, whether by the 
physical act of his dying for the faith, considered in it- 
self, or by the mental act of supreme devotion to God, 
which caused and attended it. So again, contrition 
of a certain kind is sufficient as a disposition, or condi- 
tion, or matter for receiving absolution in Penance 
ex opere operato, or by virtue of the sacrament ; but it 


may be heightened and purified into so intense an act of 
divine love, of hatred and sorrow for sin, and of renun- 
ciation of it, as to cleanse and justify the soul, without 
the sacrament at all, ex opere operantis. It is plain 
from this distinction, that, if we would determine whe- 
ther the Anglican ordinances are attended by divine 
grace, we must first determine whether the effects 
which accompany them arise ex opere operantis or ex 
opere operate — whether out of the religious acts, the 
prayers, aspirations, resolves of the recipient, or by the 
direct power of the ceremonial act itself, a nice and 
difficult question, not to be decided by means of those 
effects themselves, whatever they be. 

Let me grant to you then, that the reception of your 
ordinances brings peace and joy to the soul ; that it 
permanently influences or changes the character of the 
recipient. Let me grant, on the other hand, that their 
profanation, when men have been taught to believe in 
them, and in profaning are guilty of contempt of that 
God to whom they ascribe them, is attended by judg- 
ments ; this properly shows nothing more than that, 
by a general law, lying, deceit, presumption, or hypo- 
crisy are punished, and prayer, faith, contrition, re- 
warded. There is nothing to show that the effects would 
not have been precisely the same under the same inward 
dispositions, though another ordinance, a love-feast or a 
washing the feet, with no pretence to the name of a Sacra- 
ment, had in good faith been adopted. And it is obvious 
to any one that, for a member of the Establishment to 
bring himself to confession, especially some years back, 
required dispositions of a very special character, a special 
contrition and a special desire of the Sacrament, which, 
as far as we may judge by outward signs, were a special 



effect of gi'ace, and would fittingly receive from God's 
bounty a special reward, some further and higher grace, 
or even remission of sins. And again, when a member 
of the Establishment, surrounded by those who scoffed 
at the doctrine, accepted God's word that He would 
make Bread His Body, and honoured Him by accepting 
it, is it wonderful, is it not suitable to God's mercy, if 
He reward such a special faith with a quasi sacramental 
grace, though he ignorantly offered to a material sub- 
stance that adoration which he intended to pay to the 
present, but invisible. Lamb of God ? 

But this is not all, my dear brethren ; I must allow to 
others what I allow to you. If I let you plead the 
sensible effects of supernatural grace, as exemplified in 
yourselves, in proof that your religion is true, I must 
allow the plea to others to whom by your theory you are 
bound to deny it. Are you willing to place yourselves 
on the same footing with Wesleyans? yet what is the 
difference? or rather, have they not more remarkable 
phenomena in their history, symptomatic of the presence 
of grace among them, than you can show in yours? 
Which then is the right explanation of your feelings and 
your experience, mine, which I have extracted from re- 
ceived Catholic teaching, or yours, which is an expedient 
for the occasion, and cannot be made to tell for your own 
Apostolical authority without telling for those who are 
rebels against it ? Survey the rise of Methodism, and say 
candidly, whether those who made light of your ordi- 
nances, abandoned them, or at least disbelieved their 
virtue, have not had among them evidences of that very 
same grace which you claim for yourselves, and think a 
proof of your acceptance with God. Really I am obliged 
in candour to allow, whatever part the evil spirit had in 


the work, whatever gross admixture of earth poUuted it, 
whatever extravagance there was to excite ridicule or 
disgust, whether it was Christian virtue, or the excellence 
of unaided man, whatever was the spiritual state of the 
subjects of it, whatever their end and their final account, 
yet there were higher and nobler vestiges or semblances 
of grace and truth in Methodism than there have been 
among you. I give you credit for what you are, grave, 
serious, earnest, modest, steady, self-denying, consistent ; 
you have the praise of such virtues ; and you have a clear 
perception of many of the truths, or of portions of the 
truths, of revelation. In these points you surpass the 
Wesleyans ; but if I wished to find what was striking, 
extraordinary, suggestive of Catholic heroism, of St. 
Martin, St. Francis, or St. Ignatius, I should betake 
myself far sooner to them than to you. " In our own 
times," says a writer in a popular Review, speaking of the 
last-mentioned Saint and his companions, "in our own 
times much indignation and much alarm are thrown away 
on innovators of a very different stamp. From the 
ascetics of the common room, from men whose courage 
rises high enough only to hint at their unpopular opinions, 
and whose belligerent passions soar at nothing more 
daring than to worry some unfortunate professor, it is 
almost ludicrous to fear any great movement on the 
theatre of human affairs. When we see these dainty 
gentlemen in rags, and hear of them from the snows of 
the Himalaya, we may begin to tremble." Now such a 
diversion from the course of his remarks upon St. Igna- 
tius and his companions, I must say was most uncalled 
for, in this writer, and not a little ill-natured ; for we had 
never pretended to be heroes at all, and should have been 
the first to laugh at any one who fancied us such ; but 

H 2 


they will serve to suggest the fact, which is undeniable, 
that, even when Anglicans approach in doctrine nearest 
to the Catholic Church, still heroism is not the line of 
their excellence. The Established Church may have 
preserved in the country the idea of sacramental grace, 
and the movement of 1833 have spread it ; but if you 
wish to find the shadow and the suggestion of the super- 
natural qualities which make up the notion of a Catholic 
Saint, to Wesley you must go, and such as him. Per- 
sonally, I do not like him, if it were merely for his deep 
self-reliance and self-conceit ; still I am bound, in justice 
to him, to ask, and you in consistency to answer, what 
historical personage in the Establishment, during its 
whole three centuries, has approximated in force and 
splendour of conduct and achievements to one who began 
by innovating on your rules, and ended by contemning 
your authorities ? He and his companions, starting amid 
ridicule at Oxford, with fasting and praying, in the cold 
night air, then going about preaching, reviled by the 
rich and educated, and pelted and dragged to prison by 
the populace, and converting their thousands from sin to 
God's service — were it not for their pride and eccentricity, 
and fanatical doctrine and untranquil devotion, they 
startle us, as if the times of St. Vincent Ferrer or St. 
Francis Xavier were come again in a Protestant land. 

Or, to turn to other communions, whom have you with 
the capabilities of greatness in them, which show them- 
selves in the benevolent zeal of Howard the philanthro- 
pist, or Elizabeth Fry ? Or consider the almost mira- 
culous conversion and subsequent life of Col. Gardiner. 
Why, even old Bunyan, with his vivid dreams when a 
child, his conversion, his conflicts with Satan, his preach- 
ings and imprisonments, however inferior to you in dis- 


cipline of mind and knowledge of the truth, is, in the 
outline of his history, more Apostolical than you. " Weep 
not for me," were his last words, as if he had been a saint, 
" but for yourselves. I go to the Father of our Lord 
Jesus Christ, who doubtless, through the mediation of His 
Son, will receive me, though a sinner, when we shall, ere 
long, meet, to sing the new song, and be happy for ever." 
Consider the death-beds of the thousands of those, in and 
out of the Establishment, who, with scarcely one sentiment 
of religion in common with you, die in confidence of the 
truth of their doctrine, and of their personal safety. 
Does the peace of their deaths testify to the divinity of 
their creed or of their communion? Does the extreme 
earnestness and reality of religious feeling, exhibited in 
the sudden seizure and death of one, who was as stern in 
his hatred of your opinions, as in that earnestness of 
feeling, who one evening protested against the sacra- 
mental principle, and next morning died with the words 
of Holy Scripture in his mouth — does it give any sanction 
to that hatred and that protest * ? And there is another, 
a Calvinist, one of whose special and continual prayers in 
his last illness was for perseverance in grace, who cried, 
" O Lord, abhor me not, though I be abhorrible, and 
abhor myself !" And who, five minutes before his death, 
by the expression of his countenance, changing from 
prayer to admiration and calm peace, impressed upon the 
bystanders, that the veil had been removed from his eyes, 
and that, like Stephen, he saw things invisible to sense ; 
— did he, by the circumstances of his death-bed, bear evi- 
dence to the truth of what you, as well as I, hold to be 
an odious heresy * ? " Mr. Harvey resigned his meek soul 

» Dr. Arnold. « Mr. Scott. 



into the hands of his Redeemer, saying, ' Lord, now let- 
test Thou Thy servant depart in peace.' " " Mr. Walker, 
before he expired, spoke nearly these words : ' I have 
been on the wings of the cherubim ; heaven has in a man- 
ner been opened to me, I shall be there soon.'" " Mr. 
Whitfield rose at four o'clock on the sabbath day, went 
to his closet, and was unusually long in private ; laid 
himself on his bed for about ten minutes ; then went on 
his knees and prayed most fervently he might that day 
finish his Master's work." Then he sent for a clergyman, 
" and before he could reach him, closed his eyes on this 
world without a sigh or groan, and commenced a sabbath 
of everlasting rest ^" Alas ! there was another, who for 
three months " lingered," as he said, " in the face of 
death." " O my God," he cried, " 1 know Thou dost not 
overlook any of Thy creatures. Thou dost not overlook 
me. So much torture ... to kill a worm ! have mercy 
on me ! I cry to Thee, knowing I cannot alter Thy ways. 
I cannot, if I would, and I would not if I could. If a 
word would remove these sufferings, I would not utter 
it." " Just hfe enough to suffer," he continued, " but I 
submit, and not only submit but rejoice." One morning 
he woke up, " and with firm voice and great sobriety of 
manner, spoke only these words : ' Now I die !' He 
sat as one in the attitude of expectation, and about two 
hours afterwards, it was as he had said." And he was a 
professed infidel, and worse than an infidel, — an apostate 
priest ! 

No, my dear brethren, these things are beyond us. 
Nature can do so much, and go so far, can form such 
rational notions of God and of duty, without grace or 

1 Sidney's Life of Hill. 


merit, or a future hope ; good sense has such an instinc- 
tive apprehension of what is fitting; intellect, imagination, 
and feeling can so take up, develope, and illuminate what 
nature has originated ; education and the communication 
of ideas can so insinuate into the mind what really does 
not belong to it ; grace, not effectual, but inchoate, can 
so plead, and its pleadings look so like its fruits ; and its 
mere visitations may so easily be mistaken for its in- 
dwelling presence ; and its vestiges, when it has departed, 
may gleam so beautifully on the dead soul ; that it is quite 
impossible for us to conclude, with any fairness of argu- 
ment, that a certain opinion is true, or a religious position 
safe, on account of the confidence or apparent excellence 
of those who adopt it. Of course we think as tenderly 
of them as we can ; and may fairly hope that what we 
see, is in some instances the work of grace, wrought on 
those who are in invincible ignorance ; but the claim is 
unreasonable and exorbitant, if they expect their state 
of mind is to be taken in evidence, not only of promise in 
the individual, but of truth in his creed. 

And should this view of the subject unsettle and de- 
press you, as if it left you no means at all of ascCTtaining 
whether God loves you, or whether any thing is true, or 
any thing to be trusted, then let this feeling answer the 
purpose for which I have impressed it on you. I wish 
to deprive you of your undue confidence in self: I wish to 
dislodge you from that centre in which you sit so self-pos- 
sessed and self-satisfied. Your fault has been to be satis- 
fied with but a half evidence of your security ; you have 
been too well contented with remaining where you found 
yourselves, not to catch at a line of argument, so indul- 
gent, yet so plausible. You have thought that position 
impregnable ; and growing confident, as time went on, 


you have presumed to pronounce it blasphemy against the 
Holy Ghost to doubt of your Church and of its ordinances. 
Learn, my dear brethren, a more sober, a more cautious 
tone of thought. Learn to fear for your souls. It is 
something indeed to be peaceful within, but it is not 
every thing. It may be the stillness of death. The 
Catholic, and he alone, has within him that union of 
external, with internal notes of God's favour, which sheds 
the light of conviction over his sonl, and makes him both 
fearless in his faith, and calm and thankful in his hope. 



It is scarcely possible to fancy that an event so distinc- 
tive in its character as the rise of the so-called Anglo- 
Catholic party in the course of the last twenty years, 
should have no scope in the designs of Divine Provi- 
dence. From beginnings so small, from elements of 
thought so fortuitous, with prospects so unpromising, 
that in its germ it was looked upon with contempt, if 
it was ever thought of at all, it suddenly became a power 
in the National Church, and an object of alarm to her 
rulers and friends. Its originators would have found it diffi- 
cult to say what they aimed at of a practical kind ; rather 
they put forth views and principles, for their own sake, 
because they were true, as if they were obliged to say 
them ; and though their object certainly was to strengthen 
the Establishment, yet it would have been very difficult 
for them to state precisely the intermediate process, or 
practical application, by which, in matter of fact, their 
preaching was to arrive at that result. And as they 
might be themselves surprised at their earnestness in 

82 LECTUllE IV. 

uttering, they had as great cause to be surprised at 
their success in propagating, the doctrines which have 
characterized their school. And, in fact, they could 
only say that those doctrines were in the air ; that to 
assert was to prove, and that to explain was to per- 
suade ; and that the movement in which they were 
taking part was the birth of a crisis rather than of a 
place, I do not mean to say, that they did not use argu- 
ments on the one hand, or attempt to coalesce with 
things as they were on the other ; but that, after all, 
their doctrine went forth rather than was sent, and 
spoke rather than was spoken, — that it was a message 
rather than an argument, — that it was the master not 
the creature of its proclaimers, and seemed to be said 
at random, because uttered with so indistinct an aim ; 
and so, with no advantage except that of position, which 
of course is not to be undervalued, it spread and was 
taken up no one knew how. In a very few years a 
school of opinion was formed, fixed in its principles, 
indefinite and progressive in their range; and it ex- 
tended into every part of the country. If, turning from 
the contemplation of it from within, we inquire what the 
world thought of it, we have still more to raise our 
wonder ; for, not to mention the excitement it caused 
in England, the movement and its party-names were 
known to the police of Italy and the back-woodsmen of 
America. So it proceeded, getting stronger and stronger 
every year, till it has come into coHision with the Nation 
and that Church of the Nation which it began by pro- 
fessing especially to serve ; and now its upholders and 
disciples have to look about, and ask themselves where 
they are, and which way they are to go, and whither they 
are bound. 


God does nothing in vain ; so much earnestness, zeal, 
toil, thought, religious principle, success, as has been 
expended or exhibited in the history of that movement, 
must surely have a place ia His scheme, and in His deal- 
ings towards His Church in this country, if we could 
discern what it was. He has excited aspirations, ma- 
tured good thoughts, and prospered pious undertakings 
arising out of them : not for nothing, surely, — then for 
what ? Wherefore ? 

The movement certainly is one and the same to all who 
have been influenced by it ; the principles and circum- 
stances, which have made them what they are, are one 
and the same ; the history of one of you, my brethren, is 
pretty much the history of another — the history of all. 
Is it meant that you should each of you end in his own 
way, if your beginnings have been the same ? The duty 
of one, is it not the duty of another ? Are you not to act 
together ? In other words, may I not look at the move- 
ment as one thing, and thus contemplate what is its bear- 
ing and its legitimate issue ; and may not, in conse- 
quence, that direction and scope of the movement, if 
such can be found, be taken as a suggestion to you how 
you should act, distinct from and in addition to the inti- 
mations of God's will, which come home to you person- 
ally and individually? The movement has affected us 
in a certain way ; at one time we have felt urged perhaps, 
with some of those who took part in it, to go forward ; 
at another, to remain where we are ; then, to retire into 
lay-communion, if we were in the established ministry ; 
then to collapse into a sect external to its pale. We 
have tried to have faith in the sacraments of the Na- 
tional Church ; for a time we have succeeded, and then 
we have failed ; we have felt ourselves drawn, we 
* I 2 


have felt ourselves repelled by the Catholic Church — 
we have felt difficulties in her faith, counter-difficulties 
in rejecting it, complications of difficulty on difficulty, 
concurrent or antagonist, till we could ascertain neither 
their mutual relation nor their combined issue, and 
could neither change nor remain where we were without 
scruple. Under such a trial it would be some guidance, 
a sort of token or note of the course destined for us 
by Providence, if the movement itself, whose princi- 
ples we have drunk in, with which we are so intimately 
one, had, from the nature of the case, its own natural 
and necessary termination. Before now, when a Pro- 
testant, I have said, more or less to others who were 
in anxiety, " Watch the movement ; it is made up of 
individuals, but it has an objective being, proceeds on prin- 
ciples, is governed by laws, and is swayed and directed 
by external facts. We are apt to be attracted or driven 
this way or that ; each thinks for himself and judges 
differently from others ; each fears to decide : but may 
we not ascertain and follow the legitimate and divinely 
intended course of that, whose children we are V A great 
Saint was accustomed to command his sons, when they 
had to determine some point relatively to themselves and 
their Society, in their imagination, to throw themselves 
out of themselves, and to look at the question externally, 
as if it were not personal to them, and they were deciding 
for a stranger. In like manner, it has been sometimes 
recommended in the solution of pubhc questions, to look 
at them as they will show in history, and as they will be 
judged of by posterity. Now in some such way should I 
wish, at this moment, to regard the movement of 1833, 
and to discover what is its proper, suitable, legitimate 
termination. This, then, is the question I shall consider 


in the present Lecture ; — here is a great existing fact 
-before our eyes, the movement and its party. What is 
to become of it ? What ought to become of it 1 Is it to 
melt away as if it had not been ? Is it merely to sub- 
serve the purpose of the liberal party, in breaking up 
establishments by weakening them, and in making dog- 
matism ridiculous by multiplying sects ? or is it of too 
positive a character, both in its principles and its mem- 
bers, to anticipate for it so disappointing an issue ? 

I say, it has been definite in its principles, though 
vague in their application and their scope. It has been 
formed on one idea, which has developed into a body of 
teaching, logical in the arrangement of its portions, and 
consistent with the principles on which it originally 
started. That idea, or first principle, was ecclesiastical 
liberty ; the doctrine it especially opposed was, in eccle- 
siastical language, the heresy of Erastus, and, in poli- 
tical, the Eoyal Supremacy. The object of its attack 
was the Establishment, considered as such. 

When I thus represent the idea of the movement, of 
which I am speaking, I must not be supposed to over- 
look or deny it its theological, or its ritual, or its practical 
character ; but I am speaking of what may be called its 
form. If I said that the one doctrine of Luther was jus- 
tification by faith only, or of Wesley, the doctrine of the 
new birth, I should not be denying that they respectively 
taught many others ; but merely should mean that their 
teaching was cast in that particular shape which I have 
mentioned, each portion in detail being made subservient 
to its inculcation. In like manner, the writers of the Apo- 
stolical party of 1833, were earnest and copious in their 
enforcement of the high doctrines of the faith, of dogma- 
tism, of the sacramental principle, of the sacraments (as 


far as the Anglican Prayer Book admitted them), of 
ceremonial observances, of practical duties, and of the 
counsels of perfection ; but, considering all those great 
articles of teaching to be protected and guaranteed by 
the independence of the Church, and in that way alone, 
they viewed sanctity, and sacramental grace, and dog- 
matic fidelity, merely as subordinate to the mystical body 
of Christ, and made them minister to her sovereignty, 
that she might in turn protect them in their preroga- 
tives. Dogma would be maintained, sacraments would 
be administered, religious perfection would be venerated 
and attempted, if the Church were supreme in her spiri- 
tual power; dogma would be sacrificed to expedience, 
sacraments would be rationalized, perfection would be 
ridiculed, if she was made the slave of the State. Eras- 
tianism then was the one heresy which practically cut 
at the root of all revealed truth ; the man who held it 
would soon fraternize with Unitarians, mistake the bustle 
of life for religious obedience, and pronounce his butler 
as able to give communion as his priest. It destroyed 
the supernatural altogether, by making most emphati- 
cally Christ's kingdom a kingdom of the world. Such 
was the teaching of the movement of 1 833. The whole 
system of revealed truth was, according to it, to be 
carried out upon the Anti-Erastian or Apostolical basis. 
The independence of the Church is almost the one sub- 
ject of three out of four volumes of Mr. Froude's Re- 
mains ; it is, in one shape or other, the prevailing sub- 
ject of the early numbers of the " Tracts for the Times," 
as well as of other publications which might be named. 
It was for this that the writers of whom I speak had 
recourse to Antiquity, insisted upon the Apostolical 
succession, exalted the Episcopate, and appealed to 


the people, not only because these things were true and 
right, but to preserve them by uttering them ; in order 
to their firmer reception, they introduced them in the 
first instance as means towards the inculcation of the idea 
of the Church, as constituent portions of that great idea, 
which, when it once should be received, was to convert 
the world. 

" Our one tangible object," it was said, in a passage 
too long to be extracted at length, "is to restore the 
connexion, at present broken, between Bishops and 
people ; for in this every thing is involved, directly or in- 
directly, for which it is a duty to contend. We wish to 
maintain the faith, and bind men together in love. We 
are aiming, with this view, at that commanding moral 
influence which attended the early Church, which made 
it attractive and persuasive, which manifested itself in 
a fascination, sufficient to elicit out of Paganism and 
draw into itself all that was noblest and best from 
the mass of mankind ; and which created an inter- 
nal system of such grace, beauty, and majesty, that 
believers were moulded thereby into martyrs and evan- 
gelists. If master-minds are ever granted to us, they 
must be persevering in insisting on the Episcopal 
system, the Apostolical succession, the ministerial com- 
mission, the power of the keys, the duty and desirable- 
ness of Church discipline, the sacredness of Church rites 
and ordinances. But, you will say, how is all this to be 
made interesting to the people ? I answer, that the 
topics themselves which they are to preach, are of that 
warm and attractive nature, which carries with it its own 
influence. The very notion that representatives of the 
Apostles are now on earth, from vi'hose communion we 
may obtain grace, as the first Christians did from the 


Apostles, is surely, when admitted, of a most transport- 
ing and persuasive character. Clergymen are at present 
subject to the painful experience of losing the more 
religious portion of their flocks, whom they have tutored 
and moulded as children, but who, as they come into life, 
fall away to the Dissenters. Why is this ? They desire 
to be stricter than the mass of Churchmen, and the 
Church gives them no means ; they desire to be governed 
by sanctions more constraining than those of mere argu- 
ment, and the Church keeps back those doctrines, 
which, to the eye of faith, give a reality and substance to 
religion. One who is told that the Church is the trea- 
sure-house of spiritual gifts, comes for a definite privilege. 
Men know not of the legitimate priesthood, and, there- 
fore, are condemned to hang upon the judgment of indi- 
viduals and self-authorized preachers ; they put up with 
legends of private Christians, in the place of the men of 
God, the meek martyrs, the saintly doctors, the wise and 
winning teachers of the Catholic Church \" 

Passages such as this, which is but a portion of a 
whole, show to me, my brethren, clearly enough, that 
these men understood the nature of the Church far better 
than they understood the nature of the Establishment, 
which they sought to defend. They saw in it, indeed, a 
contrariety to their Apostolical principles, but they seem to 
have fancied that such contrariety was an accident in its 
constitution, and was capable of a cure. They did not 
understand that the Establishment was set up in Eras- 
tianism, that Erastianism was its essence, and that to 
destroy Erastianism was to destroy the Establishment. 
The movement, then, and the Establishment, were 
in simple antagonism from the first, although neither 

* British Magazine, April, 1 836. 


party knew it ; they were logical contradictories ; they 
could not be true together ; what was the life of the one, 
was the death of the other. The sole ambition of the 
Establishment was to be the creature of the State ; the 
sole aspiration of the movement was to force it to act for 
itself. The movement went forth on the face of the 
country : it read, it preached, it published ; it addressed 
itself to logic and to poetry : it was antiquarian and 
architect, only to do for the Establishment, what the 
Establishment considered the most intolerable of dis- 
services : every breath, every sigh, every aspiration, 
every effort of the movement was an affront or an offence 
to the Establishment. In its very first Tract, it could 
wish nothing better for the Bishops of the Establishment 
than martyrdom, and, as the very easiest escape, it 
augured for them the loss of their temporal possessions. 
It was easy to foresee what response the Establishment 
would make to its officious defenders, as soon as it could 
recover from its surprise ; but experience was necessary 
to teach this to men who knew more of St. Athanasius 
than of the Privy Council or the Court of Arches. 

" Why should any man in Britain," asks a Tract, 
" fear or hesitate boldly to assert the authority of the 
Bishops and pastors of the Church on grounds strictly 
evangelical and spiritual?" " Keverend Sir," answered 
the Primate, to a protest against a Bishop elect, accused 
of heresy, " It is not within the bounds of any authority 
possessed by me to give you an opportunity of proving 
your objections ; finding, therefore, nothing in which I 
could act in compliance with your remonstrance, I pro- 
ceeded, in the execution of my office, to obey Her 
Majesty's mandate for Dr. Hampden's consecration in 
the usual form." 


" Are we contented,"" asks another Tract, " to be ac- 
counted the mere creation of the State, as schoolmasters 
and teachers may be, as soldiers, or magistrates, or other 
public officers ? Did the State make us ? Can it un- 
make us I Can it send out missionaries V Can it arrange 
dioceses ? " William the Fourth," answers the first magis- 
trate of the State, " by the grace of God, of the united king- 
dom of Great Britain, and Ireland, king, defender of the 
Faith, to all to whom these presents shall come, greeting ; 
We, having great confidence in the learning, morals, and 
probity of our well-beloved and venerable William Grant 
Broughton, do name and appoint him to be Bishop and or- 
dinary pastor of the see of Australia, so that he shall be and 
shall be taken to be Bishop of the Bishop's see, and may, 
by virtue of this our nomination and appointment, enter 
into and possess the said Bishop's see as the Bishop 
thereof, without any let or impediment of us ; and we do 
hereby declare, that, if we, our heirs and successors, shall 
think fit to recall or revoke the appointment of the said 
Bishop of Australia, or his successors, that every such 
Bishop shall, to all intents and purposes, cease to be 
Bishop of Australia." 

" Confirmation is an ordinance," says the Tract, " in 
which the Bishop witnesses Christ. Our Lord and Sa- 
viour confirms us with the Spirit of all goodness ; the 
Bishop is His figure and hkeness, when he lays his hands 
on the heads of children. Then Christ comes to them, 
to confirm in them the grace of baptism." " And we do 
hereby give and grant to the said Bishop of Australia," 
proceeds His Majesty, " and his successors. Bishops of 
Australia, full power and authority to confirm those that 
are baptized and come to years of discretion, and to per- 
form all other functions peculiar and appropriate to the 


office of Bishop within the limits of the said see of Aus- 

" Moreover," says the Tract, " the Bishop rules the 
Church here below, as Christ rules it above ; and is 
commissioned to make us clergymen God's ministers. He 
is Christ's instrument." " And we do by these presents 
give and grant to the said Bishop and his successors, 
Bishops of Australia, full power and authority to admit 
into the holy orders of deacon and priest respectively any 
person whom he shall deem duly qualified, and to punish 
and correct chaplains, ministers, priests, and deacons, 
according to their demerits." 

" The Bishop speaks in me," says the Tract, " as Christ 
wrought in him, and as God sent Christ ; thus the whole 
plan of salvation hangs together ; Christ the true Me- 
diator ; His servant, the Bishop, His earthly likeness ; 
mankind, the subjects of His teaching ; God, the author 
of salvation." And the Queen answers, " We do hereby 
signify to the Most Reverend Father in God, William, 
Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, our nomination of the 
said Augustus, requiring, and, by the faith and love 
whereby he is bound unto Us, commanding the said Most 
Reverend Father in God, to ordain and consecrate the 
said Augustus." And the consecrated prelate echoes from 
across the ocean against the Catholic pastor of the 
country, " Augustus, by the grace of God and the favour 
of Queen Victoria, Bishop." 

" You will, in time to come," says the Tract, " honour 
us with a purer honour, than many men do now, as those 
who are intrusted with the keys of heaven and hell, as 
the heralds of mercy, as the denouncers of woe to wicked 
men, as intrusted with the awful and mysterious privi- 
lege of dispensing Christ's Body and Blood." And a 


first Episcopal charge replies in the words of the homily, 
" Let us diligently search the well of life, and not run 
after the stinking puddles of tradition, devised by man's 
imagination," A second, " It is a subject of deep concern 
that any of our body should prepare men of ardent feel- 
ings and warm imaginations for a return to the Koman 
Mass-book." And a third, " Already are the founda- 
tions of apostasy laid : if we once admit another Gospel, 
Antichrist is at the door. I am full of fear : every thing 
is at stake ; there seems to be something judicial in the 
rapid spread of these opinions." And a fourth, " It is 
impossible not to remark upon the subtle wile of the 
Adversary ; it has been signally and unexpectedly exem- 
plified in the present day by the revival of errors which 
might have been supposed buried for ever." And a fifth, 
" Under the spurious pretence of deference to antiquity 
and respect for primitive models, the foundations of our 
Protestant Church are undermined by men who dwell 
within her walls, and those who sit in the Reformers"' 
seat are traducing the Reformation." " Our glory is 
in jeopardy," says a sixth. " Why all this tenderness 
for the very centre and core of corruption ?" asks a 
seventh. " Among other marvels of the present day,'' 
says an eighth, " may be accounted the irreverent and 
unbecoming language applied to the chief promoters of 
the Reformation in this land. The quick and extensive 
propagation of opinions, tending to exalt the claims of the 
Church and of the Clergy, can be no proof of their sound- 
ness." " Reunion with Rome has been rendered impos- 
sible," says a ninth, " yet I am not without hope that 
more cordial union may, in time, be effected among all 
Protestant Churches." " Most of the Bishops," says a 
tenth, " have spoken in terms of disapproval of the 


" Tracts for the Times," and I certainly believe the system 
to be most pernicious, and one which is calculated to 
produce the most lamentable schism in a Church already 
fearfully disunited." " Up to this moment," says an 
eleventh, " the movement is advancing, under just the 
same pacific professions, and the same imputations are still 
cast upon all who in any way impede its progress. Even 
the English Bishops, who have officially expressed any 
disapprobation of the principles or proceedings of the 
party, have not escaped such animadversions." " Trac- 
tarianism is the masterpiece of Satan," says a twelfth. 

But there was a judgment more cruel still, because its 
apparent tendency lay the other way ; but it was the 
infelicity of the agents in the movement, that, the Na- 
tional Church feeling as it did, their doctrines could not 
be sheltered except at the expense of their principles. 
" A Bishop's lightest word, ex Cathedra^ is heavy," said a 
writer of the " Tracts for the Times." " His judgment on 
a book cannot be light. It is a rare occurrence." And 
an Archbishop answered, " Many persons look with con- 
siderable interest to the declarations on such matters 
that from time to time are put forth by Bishops in 
their Charges, or on other occasions. But on most of 
the points to which I have been alluding, a Bishop's de- 
clarations have no more weight, except what they derive 
from his personal character, than any anonymous pamph- 
let would have. The points are mostly such as he has 
no official power to decide, even in reference to his own 
diocese ; and as to legislation for the Church, or autho- 
ritative declarations on many of the most important 
matters, neither any one Bishop, nor all collectively, have 
any more right of this kind, than the ordinary magistrates 
have, to take on themselves the functions of Parliament.'''' 


It is hardly necessary to prolong the exhibition of the 
controversy, or to recall to your recollection the tone of 
invective in which each party relieved the keen and 
vehement feelings which its opponents excited ; how the 
originators of the movement called Jewell "■ an irreverent 
Dissenter ;" were even " thinking worse and worse of 
the Reformers ;" " hated the Reformation and the Re- 
formers more and more ;" thought them the false pro- 
phet of the Apocalypse ; described the National Church 
as having " blasphemed tradition and the Sacraments ;" 
were " more and more indignant at the Protestant doc- 
trine of the Eucharist ;" thought the principle on which 
it was founded " as proud, irreverent, and foolish, as that 
of any heresy, even Socinianism ;" and considered the 
Establishment their " upas-tree," " an incubus on the 
country ;■" and its reformed condition, " a limb badly set, 
which must be broken before it could be righted ;" — and 
how they were called in turn, " superstitious," " zealots," 
" mystical," " malignants," " Oxford heretics," " Jesuits 
in disguise," " tamperers with Popish idolatry," " agents 
of Satan," " a synagogue of Satan," " snakes in the 
grass," "walking about our beloved Church, polluting 
the sacred edifice, and leaving their slime about her 
altars;" "whose head," it was added, "may God 

Is it not then abundantly plain, that, whatever be the 
destiny of the movement of 1833, there is no providential 
tendency towards a coalition with the Establishment ? It 
cannot strengthen it, it cannot serve it, it cannot obey 
it. The party may be dissolved, the movement may die 
— that is another matter ; but it and its idea cannot 
live, cannot energize in the National Church. If St. 
Athanasius could agree with Arius, St. Cyril with Nes- 


torius, St. Dominic with the Albigenses, or St. Ignatius 
with Luther, then may two parties coalesce, in a certain 
assignable time, or by certain felicitously gradual approxi- 
mations, or with dexterous Hmitations and concessions, 
who mutually think light darkness, and darkness light. 
" Delenda est Carthago ;" one or other must perish. As- 
suming then that there is a scope and limit to the move- 
ment, we certainly shall not find it in the dignities and 
offices of the National Church. 

If then this be not the providential direction of the 
movement, let us ask in the next place, is it intended to 
remain just what it is, not in power or authority, but as 
a sort of principle or view of religion, found here and 
there, with greater or less distinctness, with more or 
fewer followers, scattered about or concentrated, up and 
down the Establishment ; with no exact agreement be- 
tween man and man in matters of detail, or in theoretical 
basis, but as an influence, sleeping or rousing, victorious 
or defeated, from time to time, as the case may be ? This 
state of things is certainly supposable, at least for a 
time, for a generation ; and various arguments may be 
adduced in its behalf. It may be urged, that if you can- 
not do any positive good to the nation, yet at least in 
this way you may prevent evil : that to be a drag upon 
the career of unbelief, if you are nothing else, is not a 
mission to be despised ; moreover, if it be not an heroic 
course of action, or look well in history, still so much 
the more does such an office become those who are born 
in a fallen time, and who wish to be humble. Moreover, 
though it is good to be humble, still, on the other hand, 
there is a chance, it may be whispered by others, of a 
nobler and higher function opening on you, if you are but 


patient and dutiful for a time. This is the suggestion of 
those who cannot, will not, look at things as they are ; 
who think objects feasible because they are desirable, 
and to be attempted because they are tempting. These 
persons go on dwelling upon the thought of the wonderful 
power of the British people at this day all over the 
world, till they turn to consider what may be the design 
of Providence in raising it up. They feel it would be a 
most powerful instrument of good, if it could be directed 
aright ; and then they argue that, if it is to be influenced, 
what else ought naturally and obviously to influence it 
but the National Church ? The National Church then is 
to be God's instrument for the conversion of the world. 
But in order to this, of course it is indispensable that the 
National Church should have a clear and sufficient hold 
of Apostolical doctrine and usage ; but again, who is to 
instruct the National Church in these necessary matters, 
but that Apostolical movement to which they belong ? 
And thus, by a few intermediate steps, they have attained 
the conclusion, that, because the nation is so powerful, the 
movement must succeed. They bear then any degree of 
humiliation and discomfiture, nay, any argumentative 
exposure, any present stultification of their principles, 
any, however chronic, disorganization, with an immovable 
resolve, as a matter of duty and merit, as being sanguine 
about the future. They seem to feel that the whole 
cause of truth, the reform of the Establishment, the 
catholicising of the nation, the conversion of the world, 
depends at this moment on their faithfulness to their 
position ; on their own stedfastness the interests of 
humanity are at stake, and where they now are, there 
they will live and die. They have taken their part, and 
to that part they will be true. 


Moreover, there are those among them who have very 
little grasp of principle, even from the natural tenor of 
their minds. They see that this thing is beautiful, and 
that is in the Fathers, and a third is expedient, and a 
fourth pious ; but of their connexion one with another, 
their hidden essence and their life, and the bearing of 
external matters upon each and upon all, they have no 
perception or even suspicion. They do not look at things 
as part of a whole, and often will sacrifice the most im- 
portant and precious portions of their creed, or make 
irremediable concessions in word or in deed, from mere 
simplicity and want of apprehension '. This was in one 
way singularly exemplified in the beginning of the move- 
ment itself. I am not saying that every word that was 
used in the " Tracts for the Times'" was matter of principle, 
or that the doctrines to be enforced were not sometimes 
unnecessarily coloured by the vehemence of the writer ; 
but still it not seldom happened that readers took state- 
ments, which contained the very point of the argument, 
or the very heart of the principle, to be mere intemperate 
expressions, and suggested to the authors their removal. 
" They went a great way with us, but they really could 
not go so far. Why speak of the Apostolic succession, 
instead of Evangelical truth and Apostolical order ? It 
gave offence, it did no manner of good. Why use the 
word ' altar,' if it displeased weak brethren ? The word 
' sacrifice"' was doubtless a misprint for ' sacrament ;' 
and to talk with Bishop Bull of 'making the Body of 
Christ,' was a most extravagant unjustifiable way of 
describing the administration of the Lord's Supper." 

' Since writing this, the author finds it necessary to add, that he had 
na reference whatever in writing it, and should be pained to soem to 
have had, to particular passages in the controversy now in progress. 



Things are changed now at the end of twenty years ; but 
characters and intellects are the same. Such persons at 
the present moment do not formally profess any intention 
of giving up any of the doctrines of the movement, but 
they think it possible and expedient to divide portion 
from portion, and are rash and inconsistent in their 
advice and their conduct, from mere ignorance of what 
they are doing. So, too, they think it a success, and are 
elated accordingly, if any measure whatever, which hap- 
pens to have been contemplated by the movement, is any 
how conceded by the Establishment or by the State ; 
heedless altogether whether such portion be capable or 
not of coalescing with a foreign principle, and whether, 
instead of modifying, it has not been changed into that 
with which it has contended. For instance, the move- 
ment succeeded in gaining an increase in the number of 
Episcopal sees at home and abroad ; well, a triumph it 
certainly is, if any how to succeed in a measure it has 
advocated is to be called by that name. But be it recol- 
lected that measures derive their character and their 
worth from the principle which animates them ; they 
have little meaning in themselves ; they are but material 
facts, unless they include in them their scope and enforce 
their object ; nay, they readily assume the animus and 
drift, and are taken up into the form, of the system by 
which they are adopted. If the Apostolical movement 
desired to increase the Episcopate, it was with a view to 
its own Apostolical principles ; it had no wish merely to 
increase the staff of Government officers in England 
or in the colonies, the patronage of a ministry, the 
erection of rural palaces, and the Latitudinarian votes in 
Parliament. Has it, for instance, done a great achieve- 
ment at Manchester, if it has planted there a chair 


of liberalism, and inaugurated an anti- Catholic tradi- 

A policy, then, resting on such a state of mind as I 
have been describing, viz., to act as if the course of events 
itself would, some way or other, work for Apostolical 
truth, sooner or later, more or less, to let things alone, 
to do nothing, to make light of every triumph of the 
enemy from within or without, to waive the question 
of ecclesiastical liberty, to remain where you are, and 
go about your work in your own place, either con- 
tented to retard the course of events, or sanguine 
about an imaginary future, is simply to abandon the 
cause of the movement altogether. It is simply to say 
that there is no providential destiny or object connected 
with it at all. You may be right, my brethren ; this may 
be the case ; perhaps it is so. You have a right to this 
opinion, but understand what you are doing. Do not 
deceive yourselves by words ; it is not a biding your 
time, as you may fancy, if you surrender the idea and 
the main principle of the movement ; it is the abandon- 
ment of your cause. You remain, indeed, in your place, 
but it is no moral, no intellectual, but a mere secular, 
visible position which you occupy. Great men in war- 
fare, when they are beaten back from the open country, 
retire to the mountains and fortify them, in a territory 
which is their own. You have no place of refuge from 
the foe ; you have no place at all, no happy diocese, or 
peaceful parish, where you can utter and carry out securely 
those very things which you hold to be most true. Your 
retreat is an evacuation. You will remain in the Esta- 
blishment in your person, but your principles will be gone. 

I know how it will be, — a course as undignified as it 
will be ineffectual. A sensation and talk whenever some- 

K 2 


thing atrocious is to be done by the State against the prin- 
ciples you profess : a meeting of friends here or there, an 
attempt to obtain an archidiaconal meeting : some spirited 
remarks in two or three provincial newspapers ; an article 
in a review ; a letter to some Bishop ; a protest signed 
respectably ; suddenly, the news that the anticipated blow 
has fallen, and causa finita est. A pause, and then the dis- 
covery that things are not so bad as they seemed to be, and 
that your Apostolical Church has come forth from the 
trial even stronger and more beautiful than before. Still 
a secret dissatisfaction and restlessness ; a strong sermon 
at a visitation ; and a protest after dinner, when his lord- 
ship's charge is to be printed ; a paragraph in a news- 
paper, saying how that most offensive proceedings are 
taking place in such and such a parish or chapel ; how 
that there were flowers on the table, or that the curate 
has tonsured himself, or used oil and salt in baptizing, or 
that in a benefit sermon the Rector unchurched the 
Society of Friends, or that popery is coming in amain 
upon our venerable Establishment, because a parsonage 
has been built in shape like a Trappist monastery. And 
then some new signs of life ; the consecration of a new 
church, with Clergy walking in gowns, two and two, 
and the Bishop preaching on the decent performance of 
Divine Service, and the due decoration of the house of 
God. Then a gathering in the Christian Knowledge 
Rooms ; a drawn battle, and a compromise. And every 
now and then a learned theological work, doctrinal or 
historical, justifying the ecclesiastical principles on which 
the Anglican Church is founded, and refuting the novelties 
of Romanism. And lastly, on occasion of a contested 
election or other political struggle, theology mingled 
with politics ; the liberal candidate rejected by the aid of 


the High-Church Clergy on some critical question of 
religious policy; the Government annoyed or embar- 
rassed ; and a sanguine hope entertained of a ministry 
more favourable to Apostolical truth. My brethren, the 
National Church has had experience of this, mutatis 
mutandis, once before : I mean in the conduct of the Tory 
Clergy at the end of the seventeenth century, and begin- 
ning of the following. Their proceedings in Convocation 
were a specimen of it ; their principles were far better 
than those of their Bishops ; yet the Bishops show to 
advantage, and the Clergy look small and contemptible in 
the history of that contest. Public opinion judged as it 
ever judges, by such broad and significant indications of 
right and wrong ; the Government party triumphed, and 
the meetings of the Convocation were suspended. 

It is impossible, in a sketch such as this, to complete 
the view of every point which comes into consideration ; 
yet I think I have said enough to suggest the truth of 
what I have affirmed to those who carefully turn the 
matter in their minds. Is the influence of the movement 
to be maintained adequately to its beginnings and its 
promise 2 Many, indeed, will say, certainly many of 
those who hated or disapproved of it, that it was a sudden 
ebullition of feeling, or burst of fanaticism, or reaction 
from opposite errors ; that it has had its day, and is 
over. It may be so ; but I am addressing those who, I 
consider, are of another opinion ; and to them I appeal, 
whether I have yet suggested any thing plausible about 
the providential future of the movement. It is surely 
not intended, either to rise into the high places of the 
Establishment, or to sink into a vague, amorphous faction, 
at the foot of it. It cannot rise, and it ought not to sink. 

And now I am in danger of exceeding the limits which 


I have proposed to myself, though another more impor- 
tant head of consideration Hes before me, could I hope to 
do justice to it. I have argued that you will be most 
inconsistent, my brethren, with your principles and views, 
if you remain in the Establishment ; I say with your 
principles and views, for you may give them up, and then 
you will not be inconsistent. You may say, " I do not 
hold them so strongly as to make them the basis and 
starting-place of any course of action whatever. I have 
believed in them, it is true ; but I. have never contem- 
plated the liabilities you are urging upon me. I cannot, 
under any supposition, contemplate an abandonment of 
the National Church. I am not that knight-errant to 
give up my position, which surely is given me by God, on 
a theory. I am what I am. I am where I am. My 
reason has followed the teaching of the movement, and I 
have assented to it ; so far I grant. But it is a new 
idea to me quite, which I have never contemplated at 
starting, which I cannot contemplate now, that possibly 
it might involve the most awful, most utter of sacrifices. 
I have ten thousand claims upon me, urging me to 
remain where I am. They are real, tangible, habitual, 
immutable; nothing can shake or lessen them from 
within. A distinct call of God from without would of 
course overcome them, but nothing short of it. Am I 
as sure of these Apostohcal principles which I have em- 
braced, as I am of these claims ? And I am doing good 
in my parish and in my place. The day passes as usual. 
Sunday comes round once a week ; the bell rings, the 
congregation is met, and service is performed. There is 
the same round of parochial duties and charities ; sick 
people to be visited, the school to be inspected. The 
sun shines, and the rain falls, the garden smiles, as it 


used to do ; and can some one definite, external event 
have changed the position of this happy scene, of which I 
am the centre ? Is not that position a self-dependent, is 
it a mere relative position ? What care I for the Privy 
Council or the Archbishop, while I can preach and cate- 
chise just as before ? I have my daily service and my 
Saints' days' sermons, and I can tell my people about the 
primitive Bishops and martyrs, and about the grace of 
the Sacraments, and the power of theChurch, how that it 
is Catholic, and Apostolic, and Holy, and One, as if 
nothing had happened ; and I can say ray hours, or use 
my edition of Eoman Devotions, and observe the days of 
fasting, and take confessions, if they are offered, in spite 
of all gainsayers." 

It is true, my dear brethren, you may knowingly 
abandon altogether what you have once held, or you 
may pretend to hold truths without being faithful to 
them. Well then, you are of those who think that the 
movement has come to an end; if you, in your con- 
science, think so, that it was a mere phantom, or deceit, 
or unreality, or dream, which has taken you in, and from 
which you have awakened, I have not a word to say. If, 
however, as I trust is the case, God has not in vain 
unrolled the pages of antiquity before your eyes, but has 
stamped them upon your hearts, if He has put into your 
minds that perception of the truth which, once given, can 
seldom be lost, once possessed will ever be recognized, if 
you have by His grace been favoured in any measure 
with the supernatural gift of faith ^, then, my brethren, 

' Errantes invincibiliter circa aliquos articulos, et credentes alios, non 
sunt formaliter hseretici, sed habent fidem supematuralem, qu& credunt 
veros articulos, atque adeo ex e^ possunt procedere actus perfectse 
contritionis, quibus justilicentur et salventur, &c. — De Lugo de fide, 
xii. 3. 50. 


I think too well of you, 1 hope too much of you, to 
fancy that you can be untrue to convictions so special 
and so commanding. No ; you ai'e under a destiny, the 
destiny of truth — truth is your master, not you the 
master of truth — you must go whither it leads. You 
can have no trust in the Establishment or its Sacraments 
and ordinances. You must leave it, you must secede ; 
you must turn your back upon, you must renounce what 
has, — not suddenly become, — ^but has now been proved to 
you to have ever been, an imposture. You must take 
up your cross, and you must go hence. But whither l 
That is the question which it follows to ask, could I do 
justice to it. But you will rather do justice to it in 
your own thoughts. You must betake yourselves else- 
where, — and "to whom shall you go?" 



I KNOW how very difficult it is to persuade others of a 
point which to one's self may be so clear as to require no 
argument at all ; and, therefore, I am not at all sanguine, 
my brethren, that what I said in my last Lecture has 
done as much as I wished it to do. It is not an easy 
thing to prove to men that their duty lies just in the 
reverse direction to that in which they have hitherto 
placed it; that all they have hitherto learned, and 
taught ; all their past labours, hopes, and successes ; 
that their boyhood, youth, and manhood; that their 
position, their connexions, and their influence, are, in a 
certain sense, to go for nothing ; and that life is to 
begin with them anew. It is not an easy thing to attain 
to the conviction, that, with the Apostle, their greatest 
gain must be counted loss ; and that their glory and their 
peace must be found in what will make them for a while 
the wonder and the scorn of the world. It is true I may 



have shown you that you cannot coalesce with the 
National Church ; that you cannot wed yourselves to 
its principles and its routine, and that it in turn has no 
confidence at all in you ; — and, again, that you cannot 
consistently hang about what you neither love nor trust, 
cumbering with your presence what you are not allowed 
to serve ; but still you will cling to the past and present, 
and will hope for the future against hope ; and your 
forlorn hope is this, that it is, perhaps, possible to remain 
as an actual party in the Establishment, nay, an avowed 
party; not, on the one hand, rising into ecclesiastical 
power, yet not, on the other, disorganized and contempt- 
ible ; but availing yourselves of your respective positions 
in it, and developing, with more consistency and caution, 
the principles of 1833. You may say that Ipassed over this 
obvious course in my foregoing Lecture, and decided it in 
the negative without fair examination; and you may argue 
that such a party is surely allowable in a religious com- 
munion, which, as the Committee of Privy Council implies, 
is based upon principles so comprehensive, exercises so 
large a toleration, and is so patient of speculatists and 
innovators, further removed from its professed principles 
than yourselves. 

Thus I am led to take one more survey of your 
present position; yet I own I cannot do so without 
an apology to others, who may think that I am trifling 
with a serious subject and a clear case, and imagining 
objections in order to overthrow them. Such persons 
certainly there may be ; and I would have them consider, 
on the other hand, that my aim is to bring before 
those I am addressing, really and vividly, where they 
stand ; that this cannot be done unless they try steadily 
to fix their minds upon it ; that the discussion of 



imaginary cases brings out principles which they cannot 
help feeling, when presented to them, and the relation, 
moreover, of those principles to their own circumstances 
and duty ; and that even where a view of a subject is 
imaginary, when taken as a whole and in its integral 
perfection, yet portions of it may linger in the mind, 
unknown to itself, and influence its practical decisions. 

With this apology for a proceeding which some persons 
may feel tedious, I shall suppose you, my brethren, to 
address me in the following strain : " The movement has 
been, for nearly twenty years, a party, and why should it 
not continue a party as before ? It has avowedly opposed 
a contrary party in the National Church ; it has had its 
principles, its leaders, its usages, its party signs, its 
publications : it may have them still. It was once, 
indeed, a point of policy to deny our party character, or 
we tried to hide the truth from ourselves ; but a party 
we were. The National Church admits of private judg- 
ment, and where there is private judgment, there must 
be parties. We are, of course, under a disadvantage 
now, which then did not lie upon us ; we have, at the 
present time, the highest ecclesiastical authorities in 
distinct and avowed opposition to our doctrines and 
our doings ; but we knew their feehngs long ago. This 
misfortune is nothing new ; we always reckoned on an 
uphill game ; it is better that every one should speak 
out ;.. we now know the worst ; we know now where 
to find our spiritual rulers ; they are not more opposed 
to us than before, but they have been obliged openly 
to commit themselves, which we always wished them to 
do, though, of course, we should have preferred their 
committing themselves on our side. But, any how, we 
cannot be said to be in a worse case than before ; and 

L 2 


if we were allowably and hopefully a party before, we 
surely have as much allowance to agitate, and not less 
hope of success, now." You think, then, my brethren, 
that to-day can be as yesterday, and that your present 
position is your old one, and that you can be faithful to 
the movement, yet continue just what you were. My 
brethren, you do not bear in mind that a movement is a 
thing that moves ; you cannot be true to it and remain 
still. The single question is. What is the limit or scope of 
that which once had a beginning and now has a progress ? 
Circumstances are not what they were. If you would be 
true to your principles, you must remove from a position 
where it is not longer possible for you to fulfil them. 

Your movement started on the ground of maintaining 
ecclesiastical authority, as opposed to the Erastianism of 
the State. It exhibited the Church as the one earthly 
object of religious loyalty and veneration, the source 
of all spiritual power and jurisdiction, and the channel of 
all grace. It represented it as the interest, as well 
as the duty, of Churchmen, the bond of peace and the 
secret of strength, to submit their judgment in all things 
to her decision. And it taught that this divinely- 
founded Church was realized and brought into effect 
in our country in the National Establishment, which was 
the outward form or development of a continuous dynasty 
and hereditary power which descended from the Apostles. 
It gave then to that Establishment, in its officers, its 
laws, its usages, and its worship, that devotion and 
obedience, which are correlative to the very idea of the 
Church. It set up on high the bench of Bishops and 
the Book of Common Prayer, as the authority to which 
it was itself to bow, with which it was to cow and 
overpower an Erastian State. 


It is hardly necessary to bring together passages from 
the early numbers of the " Tracts for the Times " in 
support of this statement. Each Tract, I may say, 
is directed, in one way or other, to the defence of the 
existing documents or regulations of the National 
Church. No abstract ground is taken in these com- 
positions ; conclusions are not worked out from philoso- 
phical premisses, nor conjectures recommended by poetical 
illustrations, nor a system put together out of eclectic 
materials : but emphatically and strenuously it is main- 
tained, that whatever is is right, and must be obeyed. 
If the Apostolic succession is true, it is not simply 
because St. Ignatius' and St. Cyprian might affirm it, 
though Fathers are adduced also, but because it is 
implied in the Ordination Service. If the Church is 
independent of the State in things spiritual, it is not 
simply because Bishop Pearson has extolled her powers 
in his Exposition of the Creed, though divines are 
brought forward as authorities too ; but by reason of 
" the force of that article of our belief, the one Catholic 
and Apostolic Church." If the mysteriousness of the 
Episcopate is insisted on, it is not merely as contained in 
Holy Scripture, though Scripture is appealed to again 
and again ; but as implied in " that ineffable mystery, 
called in the Creed, the Communion of Saints." Scrip- 
ture was copiously quoted, the Fathers were boldly 
appealed to, and Anglican divines were diligently con- 
sulted. But the immediate, present, and, as the leaders 
of the movement hoped, the living authority, on which 
they based their theological system, was what was called 
the " Liturgy." This " Liturgy," as the instrument of 
their teaching, was, on that account, regarded as prac- 
tically infallible. " Attempts are making to get the 


Liturgy altered," says a Tract ; " I beseech you consider 
with me, whether you ought not to resist the alteration 
of even one jot or tittle of it." Then as to the Burial 
Service : " I frankly own," says another Tract, " it is 
sometimes distressing to use it ; but this must ever be in 
the nature of things, wherever you draw the line." 
Again, " there was a growing feeling that the Services 
were too long," and ought to be shortened ; but it was 
to be "arrested" by "certain considerations" offered 
in a Third. "There were persons who wished certain 
Sunday Lessons removed from the Service ;" but, ac- 
cording to a Fourth, there was reason the other way, in 
the very argument which was " brought in favour of the 
change." Another project afloat was that of leaving out 
"such and such chapters of the Old Testament," and 
"assigning proper Lessons to every Sunday from the 
New ;" but it was temperately, and ingeniously argued in 
a Fifth, that things were best just as they were. And, as 
the Prayer Book, so too was the Episcopate, invested 
with a sacred character, which it was a crime to affront 
or impair. " Exalt our Holy Fathers," said a Sixth 
Tract, " as the representatives of the Apostles and 
the Angels of the Churches." " They stand in the 
place of the Apostles," said a Seventh, " as far as the 
office of ruling is concerned ; and he that despiseth them, 
despiseth the Apostles." 

Now, why do I refer to these passages 1 Not for their 
own sake, but to show that the movement was based on 
submission to a definite existing authority, and that 
private judgment was practically excluded. I do not mean 
to say that its originators thought the Prayer Book 
inspired, any more than the Bishops infallible, as if they 
had nothing to do but accept and believe what was put 



into their hands. They had too much common sense to 
deny the necessary exercise of private judgment, in one 
sense or another. They knew that the Catholic Church 
herself admitted it, though she directed and limited it to a 
decision upon the organ of revelation ; and they expressly 
recognized what they had no wish to deny. " So far/' 
they said, "all parties must be agreed, that without 
private judgment there is no responsibility .... even 
though an infallible guidance be accorded, a man must 
have a choice of resisting it or not \" But still, not 
denying it as an abstract truth, they were of opinion that, 
as regards the teaching of the Liturgy, or the enuncia- 
tions of the Bishops, — which is the point immediately 
under our consideration, — all differences existing between 
members of the Establishment could be but minor ones, 
which might profitably, and without effort, be suppressed ; 
that is, they were such as ought to be inwardly discredited 
and rejected, as less probable than the received opinion, 
or at most must be entertained at home, not published or 
defended. They could not be more than matters of opinion, 
not of doctrine. Thus, with respect to alterations in the 
Prayer Book, the Tract says, " Though most of you 
would wish some immaterial points altered, yet not many 
of you agree in those points, and not many of you agree 
what is and what is not immaterial. If all your respective 
emendations are taken, the alterations in the Service will 
be extensive ; and, though each will gain something he 
wishes, he will lose more from those alterations which he 
did not wish. How few would be pleased by any given 
alterations, and how many pained !" Though, then, the 
Prayer Book was not perfect, it had a sort of practical 
perfection ; and, though it was not unerring, it had a 

» Newman's Proph. OflF, p. 157. 


claim to be used as such, because the evil of criticism was 
so very dangerous. '■' A taste of criticism grows upon 
the mind. This unsettlinoj of the mind is a friffhtful 
thing, both for ourselves, and more so for our flocks." 
The principle, then, of these writers was this : An in- 
fallible authority is necessary ; we have it not ; for the 
Prayer Book is all we have got. But, since we have 
nothing better, we nmst use it, as if infallible. I am not 
justifying the logic of this proceeding, but, if it be defi- 
cient, much more clearly does it, for that very reason, 
bring out the strength with which they held the principle 
of authority itself, when they would make so great an 
effort to find it a place in the national religion, and would 
rather force a conclusion than give up their premiss. 

The Prayer Book, then, according to the first agents 
in the movement, was the arbiter, and limit, and working 
rule of the ten thousand vaiying private judgments of 
which the community was made up, which could not all 
be satisfied, which could not all be right ; which were, 
every one of them, less likely to be right than it. It was 
the immediate instrument by means of which they pro- 
fessed to make their way, the fulcrum by which they 
were to hoist up the Establishment and set it down 
securely on the basis of Apostolical Truth. And thus it 
was accepted by the party, not only as essentially and 
substantially true, but also as eminently expedient and 
necessary for the time. 

" To do any thing effectually," said a speaker in a 
dialogue, who on the whole is meant to express the feel- 
ings of the party, in answer to a Romanizing friend, " we 
must stand upon recognized principles and customs. 
Any other procedure stamps a person as wrongheaded, 
ill-judging, or eccentric ; and brings upon him the con- 
tempt and ridicule of those sensible men, by whose 



opinions society is necessarily governed. Putting aside 
the question of truth and falsehood (which, of course, is 
the main consideration), even as aiming at success, we 
must be aware of the great error of making changes on 
no more definite basis than their abstract fitness, alleged 
scripturalness, or adoption by the ancients. Such changes 
are rightly called innovations ; those which spring from 
existing institutions, opinions, and feelings, are called de- 
velopments, and may be recommended, without invidious- 
ness, as improvements. I adopt them, and claim as my 
own, that position of yours, that ' we must take and use 
what is ready to our hands.' To do otherwise is to act 
the doctrinaire^ and to provide for failure. For instance, 
if we would enforce observance of the Lord's Day, we 
must not, at the outset, rest it on any theory, however 
just, of Church authority, but on the authority of Scrip- 
ture. If we would oppose the State's interference with 
the distribution of Church property, we shall succeed, 
not by urging any doctrine of Church independence, or 
by citing decrees of general councils, but by showing the 
contrariety of that measure to existing constitutional and 
ecclesiastical precedents among ourselves. Hildebrand 
found the Church provided with certain existing means of 
power ; he vindicated them, and was rewarded with the 
success, which attends, not on truth as such, but on this 
prudence and tact in conduct. St. Paul observed the 
same rule, whether in preaching at Athens or persuading 
his countrymen. It was the gracious condescension of 
our Lord Himself, not to substitute Christianity for 
Judaism by any violent revolution, but to develops 
Judaism into Christianity, as the Jews might bear it'." 

« British Mag., April, 1836. 



Now all this was very well, if expedience was the end, 
and not merely a reason, of their extolling the Episcopate 
and the Prayer Book : but, if it was a question of truth, 
and as such they certainly considered it, then it was 
undeniable, that Prayer Book and Episcopate could not 
support themselves, but required some intellectual basis ; 
and what was that to be ? Here again, as before, (and 
this is the point to which all along I wish to direct your 
attention,) these writers professed to go by authority, 
not by private judgment ; for they fell back upon the 
divines of the Anglican Church, as their means of ascer- 
taining both what it taught and why. It is scarcely 
necessary to remind any, who have followed the movement 
in its course, how careful and anxious they were, as soon 
as they got (what may be called) under weigh, at once to 
collect and arrange catenas of Anglican authorities, on 
whom their own teaching might be founded, and under 
whose name it might be protected. Accordingly the 
doctrines especially of the Apostolical succession, of 
Baptismal Regeneration, of the Eucharistic sacrifice, 
and of the rule of Faith, were made the subject of 
elaborate collections of extracts from the divines of the 
Establishment. And so in like manner, when a formal 
theory or idea was attempted of the Anglican system, 
the writer told us that " he had endeavoured, in all im- 
portant points of doctrine, to guide himself by our 
standard divines ; and, had space admitted, would have 
selected passages from their writings in evidence of it. 
Such a collection of testimonies is almost a duty on the 
part of every author, who professes, not to strike out 
new theories, but to build up and fortify what has been 
committed to us. For specimens of what is here alluded 


to, he refers to the Catenae Patrum, pubhshed in the 
" Tracts for the Times'." 

But now a further question obviously arises ; by what 
authority will you determine what divines are authorita- 
tive, and what are not ? for it is obvious, unless you can 
adduce such, private judgment will come in at last 
upon your ecclesiastical structure, in spite of your hi- 
therto success in keeping it out. This answer was ready : 
— Scripture suggested to them the rule they should 
follow, and it was a rule external to themselves. They 
professed to take simply those as authorities, whom " all 
the people accounted as prophets*." As it was no private 
judgment, but the spontaneous sentiment of a whole 
people, that canonized the Baptist, as the ancient saints 
are raised over our altars by the acclamation of a uni- 
versal immemorial belief, so, according to these writers, 
the popular voice was to be consulted, and its decision 
simply recorded and obeyed, in the selection of the divines, 
on whom their theology was to be founded. They pro- 
fessed to put aside individual liking ; they might admire 
Hooker, or think him difficult ; they might love Taylor, 
or feel a secret repugnance to him ; they might delight in 
the vigour of Bull, or be repelled by his homeliness and 
his want of the supernatural element; these various 
feelings they had, but they did not wish to select their 
authorities by any such private taste or reason, in which 
they would differ from each other, but by the voice of the 
community. For instance, Davenant is a far abler writer 
than Hammond, but how few have heard of him ? Home 
or Wilson is far inferior in learning or originality to 

' Proph. Off. p. vi. 

* There was another obvious rule also, but still not a private one. 
They had recourse to those Anglican divines who alone contemplated, 
and professed to provide, an idea, theory, or intellectual position for their 
Church, as Laud and Stillingfleet. 



Warburton, yet their works have a popularity which 
Warburton's have not, and have, in consequence, a 
higher claim to the formal title of Anglican divinity. 
Such was the principle of selection on which the authors 
of the movement proceeded ; and if you say they were 
untrue to their principles, and, after all, selected partially, 
and on private judgment, so much the more for my 
purpose. How clearly must the principle of an ecclesi- 
astical and authoritative, not a private judgment, have 
been the principle of the movement, when those who 
belonged to it were obliged to own that principle, at the 
very time that it was inconvenient to them, and when 
they were driven, whether consciously or not, to misuse 
or evade it ! 

Such then was the principle on which they professed to 
select the authorities they were to follow ; nor was their 
anxiety in consulting them less than their caution in as- 
certaining them. Here again, I am not going into the 
question whether they deceived themselves in consulting, 
as well as in ascertaining these divines : whether they fol- 
lowed them where they agreed with themselves, and 
where they stopped short, went forward without them : 
I am not aware that they did ; but, whether they did or 
no, they tried not to do so ; they wished to make the 
Anglican divines real vouchers and sanctions of their 
own teaching, and they used their words rather than their 
own. They shrank from seeming to speak without 
warrant, even on matters which in no sense were matters 
of faith, and I can adduce an instance of it, which is 
more to the point, for the very reason it was singularly 
misunderstood ; and, though it may seem to require 
some apology that I should again refer to an author from 
whom I have made several extracts already, 1 have an 
excuse for doing so in the circumstance, that I naturally 


know his works better than those of others, and I can 
quote him without misrepresenting him or hurting his 
feehngs. In a Retractation then, which was pubHshed in 
the year 1843, of some strong statements made against 
the Cathohc Church, by one of the original writers, these 
words occur : — " If you ask me how an individual could 
venture, not simply to hold hut to pullish such views of a 
communion so ancient, so wide-spreading, so fruitful in 
Saints, I answer that I said to myself, ' / am not speaking 
my own words,'' I am but following almost a consensus of 
the divines of my Church. They have ever used the 
strongest language against Rome, even the most able and 
learned of them. I wish to throw myself into their 
system. While I say what they say, I am safe. Such 
views, too, are necessary for our position." Now this 
passage has been taken to mean that the writer spoke 
from expediency, what he did not believe ; but this is 
false in fact, and inaccurate in criticism. He spoke what 
he felt, what he thought, what at the time he held, and 
nothing but what he held, with an internal assent ; but he 
would not have dared to say it, he would have shrunk, as 
well he might, from standing up, a sinner and a worm, an 
accuser against the great Roman communion, unless in 
doing so he felt he had been doing simply what his own 
Church required of him, and what was necessary for his 
Church's case, what all his Church's divines had ever 
done before him. This being the case, he " could venture, 
not simply to hold, but to publish ;"" he was not " speak- 
ing his own words,''"' though he was expressing his own 
thoughts, and, this being the case, he could " throw 
himself into," he could shelter himself behind, a " system 
received by his Church," as well as by himself. He 
felt " safe," because he spoke after, and according to 


its teaching and its teachers. It was one sin, the having 
thought ill of the Catholic Church ; it was another and 
greater, to have spoken what he thought ; and there was 
just this alleviation of his second sin, that he said what 
others had said before him. There is nothing difficult or 
unnatural surely in this state of mind ; but it is not won- 
derful that to the mass of Protestants, it was incompre- 
hensible that any should shrink from the exercise of that 
private judgment, in which they so luxuriated themselves, 
should apologize for what was simply a virtue, and should 
lament over the use of a privilege. 

But I have not yet arrived at the ultimate resolution 
of faith, in the judgment of the theological party of 
1833 ; the Anglican divines were, it seems, to be fol- 
lowed, but, after all, were they inspired more than the 
Prayer Book ? else, on what are we to say that their au- 
thority depended in turn ? Again, the answer was ready ; 
The Anglican divines are sanctioned by that authority, to 
which they themselves refer, the Fathers of the Church. 
Thus spoke the party ; now at length you will say, they 
are brought to a point, when private judgment must 
necessarily be admitted ; for who shall ascertain what is 
in the Fathers, and what is not, without a most special 
and singular application of his own powers of mind and 
his own personal attainments, to the execution of so 
serious an undertaking ? But not even here did they 
allow themselves committed to the Protestant instru- 
ment of inquiry, though this point will require some little 
explanation. It must be observed then, that they were 
accustomed to regard theology generally, much more 
upon its Anti- Protestant side than upon its Anti- Roman ; 
and, from the circumstances in which they found them- 
selves, were far more solicitous to refute Luther and 


Calvin than Suarez or Bellarmine. Protestantism was a 
present foe, Catholicism, or Romanism, as they called it, 
was but a possible adversary; " it was not likely," they 
said, " that Romanism should ever again become for- 
midable in England ;" and they engaged with it, accord- 
ingly, not from any desire to do so, but because they 
could not form an ecclesiastical theory without its 
coming in their way, and challenging their notice. It 
was " necessary for their position" to dispose of Catho- 
licism, but not as a task of which they acquitted them- 
selves with the zeal or interest which was so evident in 
their assaults upon their Protestant brethren. " Those 
who feel the importance" of that article of the Creed, 
" the holy Catholic Church," says a work several times 
quoted, " and yet are not Romanists, are bound on 
several accounts to show why they are not Romanists, 
and how they differ from them. They are bound to do 
so, in order to remove the prejudice, with which an 
article of the Creed is at present encompassed. From 
the circumstances then of the moment, the following 
Lectures are chiefly engaged in examining and exposing 
certain tenets of Romanism*." His feeling then, seems 
to have been, — I should have a perfect case against this 
Protestantism, but for these inconvenient " Romanists," 

' Proph. Office, p. 7- The writer is not unmindful of the following 
" ground" for publishing the Translations of the Fathers, contained in 
the Prospectus: — "11. The great danger in which Romanists are of 
lapsing into secret infidelity, not seeing how to escape from the pal- 
pable errors of their own Church, without falling into the opposite 
errors of ultra- Protestants. It appeared an act of especial charity 
to point out to such of them as are dissatisfied with the state of their 
own Church, a body of ancient Catholic truth, free from the errors 
alike of modern Rome, and of ultra- Protestantism." He has nothing to 
say in explanation, but it does not, I consider, affect the argument. 



whose claims I do not admit indeed, but who, controver- 
sially, stand in my way. 

But now as to the point before us ; the consequence 
of this state of mind was, that they were not very soli- 
citous (if I dare speak for others) liow far the Fathers 
seemed to tell for the Church of Rome or not ; on the 
whole, they were sure they did not tell materially for 
her ; but it was no matter, though they partially seemed 
to do so ; for their great and deadly foe, their scorn, and 
their laughing-stock, was that imbecile, inconsistent 
thing called Protestantism; and there could not be a 
more thorough refutation of its foundation and super- 
structure than was to be found in the volumes of the 
Fathers. There was no mistaking that the principles 
professed, and doctrines taught by those holy men, were 
utterly Anti- Protestant ; and, being satisfied of this, which 
was their principal consideration, it did not occur to 
them accurately to determine the range and bounds of the 
teaching of the early Church, or to reflect that perhaps 
they had a clearer view of what it did sanction, than of what 
it did not. They saw then, that there simply was no 
opportunity at all of private judgment, if one wished to 
exercise it, as regards the Anti-Protestantism of the 
Fathers ; it was a patent fact, open to all, written on 
the face of their works ; you might defer to them, you 
might reject them, but you could as little deny that they 
were essentially Anti-Protestant, as you could deny that 
those whom they called Romanists were Anti- Protestant. 
It was a matter of fact, a matter of sense ; and here, in 
this public and undeniable fact, we have arrived at what 
the movement considered the ultimate resolution of their 
faith. It was argued, for instance, " A private Christian 
may put what meaning he pleases on many parts of 


Scripture, and no one can hinder him. If interfered 
with, he can promptly answer, that it is his own opinion, 
and may appeal to his right of private judgment. But he 
cannot so deal with antiquity : history is a record of 
facts ; and facts, according to the proverb, are stubborn 
things ^" And, accordingly, these writers apparently 
represented the Catholic Church as having no power 
whatever over the faith ; her Creed was simply a public 
matter of fact, which needed as little explanation as the 
fact of her own existence. Hence it was said, " The 
humblest and meanest among Christians may defend the 
faith against the whole Church, if the need arise. He has 
as much stake in it, and as much right to it, as Bishop 
or Archbishop ; ... all that learning has to do for him, 
is to ascertain the fact, what is the meaning of the Creed 
in particular points, since matter of opinion it is not, any 
more than the history of the rise and spread of Chris- 
tianity itself." 

Accordingly, as their first act, when they were once 
set off, had been to publish Catenas of the Anglican 
divines, so their second was to publish translations of the 
Fathers; viz. in order to put the matter out of their 
own hands, and throw the decision upon the private 
judgment of no one, but on the common judgment of the 
whole community, Anglicans and Protestants, at once. 
They considered that the Fathers had hitherto been 
monopolized by controversialists, who treated them 
merely as magazines of passages which might be brought 
forward in argument, mutilated and garbled, for the 
occasion; and that the greatest service to their own 

« Proph. Office, p. 45. i p. 292. 

»r 2 


cause was simply to publish them *. " A main reason," 
it was said, " of the jealousy with which Christians of this 
age and country maintain the notion that truth of doc- 
trine can be gained from Scripture by individuals is this, 
that they are unwilling, as they say, to be led by others 
blindfold. They can possess and read the Scriptures; 
whereas, of traditions they are no adequate judges, and 
they dread priestcraft. I am not here to enter into the 
discussion of this feeling, whether praiseworthy or the 
contrary. However this be, it does seem a reason for 
putting before them, if possible, the principal works of the 
Fathers, translated as Scripture is ; that they may have, 
by them, what, whether used or not, will at least act as 
a check upon the growth of an undue dependence on 
the word of individual teachers, and will be a some- 
thing to consult, if they have reason to doubt the Catholic 
character of any tenet to which they are invited to 
accede ^"'"' 

By way then of rescuing the faith from private teaching 
on the one hand, and private judgment on the other, it 
was proposed to publish a Library of the Fathers trans- 
lated into English. And, let it be observed, in pursuance 
of this object, the Translations were to be presented to 
the general reader without note or comment. It was dis- 
tinctly stated in the Prospectus, that " the notes shall be 

* See this brought out in an ai'ticle on the Apostolical Fathers, in 
the " British Critic" of Jan. 1839. 

" Proph. Oflfice, p. 203. This passage, moreover, negatives the 
charge, sometimes advanced against the agents in the movement, that 
they wished etery individual Christian to gain his faith for himself by 
study of the Fathers. They have enough to bear without our imagining 



limited to the explanation of obscure passages, or the re- 
moval of any misapprehension which might not improbably 
arise." And this was so strictly adhered to at first, that 
the translation of St. Cyril's Catechetical Lectures was 
criticised on this verj' ground ^ ; and it was asked why 
his account of the Holy Eucharist was not reconciled by 
the Editor with the Anglican formularies, when the very 
idea of the latter had been to bring out facts, and leave 
the result to a judgment more authoritative than his own, 
and favourable on the whole, as he hoped, in the event, to 
the Church to which he belonged. " We can do no more," 
he had said in the Preface, " than have patience, and re- 
commend patience to others; and, with the racer in 
the Tragedy, look forward steadily and hopefully to the 
event, ' in the end relying, "* when, as we trust, all that is 
inharmonious and anomalous in the details, will at length 
be practically smoothed '." 

Such, then, was the clear unvarying line of thought, 
as I believed it to be, on which the movement of 1833 
commenced and proceeded, as regards the questions of 
Church authority and private judgment. It was fan- 
cied that no opportunity could arise for the exercise of 
private judgment, in any public or important matter. 
The Church declared, whether by Prayer Book or 
Episcopal authority, what was to be said or done ; and 
private judgment either had no objection to make, or only 
on those minor matters where there was a propriety in 
its yielding to authority. And the Church declared what 
her divines declared ; and her divines declared w hat the 
Fathers declared ; and what the Fathers declared was no 

* The rule of publishing without note or comment was, in consequence 
oT such objections, soon abandoned. 

* Page xi. 

124 LECTUllE V. 

matter of private judgment at all, but a matter of fact, 
cognizable by all who chose to read their writings. Their 
testimony was as decisive and clear as Pope's Bull, or 
Definition of Council, or catechisings or direction of any 
individual parish priest. There was no room for two 
opinions on the subject ; and, as Catholics consider that 
the truth is brought home to the soul supernaturally, so 
that the soul sees it and no longer reasons it out ; so in 
some parallel way it was supposed that that truth, as 
contained in the Fathers, was a natural fact, recognized 
by the natural and ordinary intelligence of mankind, as 
soon as it was directed towards it. 

The idea then of the so-called Anglo- Catholic divines was 
simply and absolutely submission to an external authority ; 
to it they appealed, to it they betook themselves ; there 
they found a haven of rest ; thence they looked out 
upon the troubled surge of human opinion, and upon the 
crazy vessels which were labouring, without chart or 
compass, upon it. Judge then of their dismay, when, 
according to the Arabian tale, on their striking their 
anchors into the supposed soil, lighting their fires on 
it, and fixing in it the poles of their tents, suddenly their 
island began to move, to heave, to splash, to frisk to 
and fro, to dive, and at last to swim away, spouting 
out inhospitable jets of water upon the credulous mari- 
ners who had made it their home. And such, I 
suppose, was the undeniable fact : I mean, the time at 
length came, when, first of all turning their minds 
(some of them, at least) more carefully to the doctrinal con- 
troversies of the early Church, they saw distinctly that in 
the reasonings of the Fathers, elicited by means of them, 
and in the decisions of authority, in which they issued, 
were contained the rudiments at least, the anticipations, 



the justification of what they had been accustomed to 
consider the corruptions of Rome. And if only one, or 
a few of them, were visited with this conviction, still one 
was sufficient, of course, to destroy that cardinal point of 
their whole system, the objective perspicuity and dis- 
tinctness of the teaching of the Fathers. But time went 
on, and there was no mistaking or denying the misfortune 
which was impending over them. They had reared a 
goodly house, but their foundations were falling in. The 
soil and the masonry both were bad. The Fathers would 
protect "Romanists" as well as extinguish Dissenters. 
The Anglican divines would misquote the Fathers, and 
shrink from the very doctors to whom they appealed. 
The Bishops of the seventeenth century were shy of the 
Bishops of the fourth ; and the Bishops of the nineteenth 
were shy of the Bishops of the seventeenth. The eccle- 
siastical courts upheld the sixteenth century against the 
seventeenth, and, unconscious of the flagrant irregularities 
of Protestant clergymen, chastised the mild misdemeanours 
of Anglo-Oatholic. Soon the living rulers of the Esta- 
blishment began to move. There are those who, reversing 
the Roman's maxim ^ are wont to shrink from the contu- 
macious, and to be valiant towards the submissive ; and 
the authorities in question gladly availed themselves of the 
power conferred on them by the movement against the 
movement itself. They fearlessly handselled their Apostolic 
weapons upon the Apostolical party. One after another, 
in long succession, they took up their song and their 

* " Parcere subjectis, et debellare superbos." It maybe right here to 
say, that the author never can forget the great kindness which Dr. 
Bagotj, at that time Bishop of Oxford, showed him on several occasions. 
He also has to notice the courtesy of Dr. Thirl wall's language, a prelate 
hh has never had the honour of knowing. 


parable against it. It was a solemn war-dance, which 
they executed round victims, who by their very principles 
were bound hand and foot, and could only eye, with dis- 
gust and perplexity, this most unaccountable movement, 
on the part of their " holy Fathers, the representatives of 
the Apostles, and the Angels of the Churches." It was 
the beginning of the end. 

My brethren, when it was discovered that the Fathers 
looked coldly upon the National Church, and that the 
instruments of the movement went beyond its divines, 
when Bishops spoke against them, and Bishop's courts 
sentenced them, and Universities degraded them, and the 
people rose against them, from that day their " occupation 
was gone." Their initial principle, their basis, external 
authority, was cut from under them ; they had " set their 
fortunes on a cast ;" they had lost ; henceforward they 
had nothing left for them but to shut up their school, and 
retire into the country. Nothing else was left for them, 
unless indeed they took up some other theory, unless they 
changed their ground, unless they ceased to be what they 
were, and became what they were not ; unless they belied 
their own principles, and strangely forgot their own 
luminous and most keen convictions ; unless they vindi- 
cated the right of private judgment, took up some fancy 
religion, retailed the Fathers, and jobbed theology. 
They had but a choice of doing nothing at all, and 
looking out for truth and peace elsewhere. 

And now, at length, I am in a condition to answer the 
question, which you have proposed for my consideration. 
- You ask me whether you cannot continue what you were. 
No, my brethren, it is impossible ; you cannot recall the 
past ; you cannot surround yourselves with the circum- 


stances which have simply ceased to be. In the beginning 
of the movement you disowned private judgment, but now, 
if you would remain a party, you must, with whatever 
inconsistency, profess it; — then, you were a party only 
externally, that is, not in your wishes and feelings, but 
merely because you were seen to differ from others in 
matter of fact, when the world looked at you, whether 
you would or no ; but now you will be a party knowingly 
and on principle, and will be erected on a party basis. 
You cannot be what you were. You will no longer be 
Anglo-CathoHc, but Patristico- Protestants. You will be 
obliged to frame a religion for yourselves, and then to 
maintain it in that very truth, pure and celestial, which 
the Apostles promulgated. You will be induced of 
necessity to put together some speculation of your own, 
and then to fancy it of importance enough to din it into 
the ears of your neighbours, to plague the world with it, 
and, if you have success, to convulse your own communion 
with the imperious inculcation of doctrines which you can 
never engraft upon it. 

For me, my dear brethren, did I know myself well, I 
should doubtless find I was open to the temptation, as 
well as others, to take a line of my own, or, what is called, 
to set up for myself; but whatever might be my real 
infirmity in this matter, I should, from mere common 
sense and common delicacy, hide it from myself, and give 
it some good name in order to make it palatable. I 
never could get myself to say, " Listen to me, for I have 
something great to tell you, which no one else knows, but 
of which there is no manner of doubt." I should be kept 
from such extravagance from an intense sense of the 
intellectual absurdity which, in my feelings, such a claim 
would involve ; which would shame me as keenly, and 


humble me in my own sight as utterly, as some moral 
impropriety or degradation. I should feel I was simply 
making a fool of myself, and taking on myself in figure 
that penance, of which we read in the Lives of Saints, of 
playing antics and making faces in the market-place. Not 
religious principle, but even worldly pride, would keep me 
from so unworthy an exhibition. I can understand, my 
brethren, I can sympathise with those old-world thinkers, 
whose commentators are Mant and D'Oyly, whose theo- 
logian is Tomlin, whose ritualist is Wheatly, and whose 
canonist is Burns ; who are fond of their Jewels and 
their Chillingworths, whose works they have never opened, 
and toast Cranmer and Ridley, and William of Orange, as 
the founders of their religion. In these times three hun- 
dred years is a respectable antiquity ; and traditions, 
recognized in law courts, and built into the structure of 
society, may without violence be considered as immemo- 
rial. Those also I can understand, who take their stand 
upon the Prayer Book ; or who honestly profess to follow 
the consensus of Anglican divines, as the voice of autho- 
rity and the standard of faith. Moreover, I can quite 
enter into the sentiment, with which members of the 
liberal and infidel school investigate the history and the 
documents of the early Church. They profess a view of 
Christianity, truer than the world has ever had ; nor, on 
the assumption of their principles, is there any thing 
shocking to good sense in this profession. They look 
upon the Christian religion as something simply human ; 
and there is no reason at all, why a phenomenon of the 
kind should not be better understood, in its origin and 
nature, as years proceed. It is indeed an intolerable 
paradox to assert, that a revelation, given from God to 
man, should lie unknown or mistaken for eighteen 


centuries, and now at length should be suddenly decy- 
phered by individuals ; but it is quite intelligible to assert, 
and plausible to argue, that a human fact should be more 
philosophically explained than it was eighteen hundred 
years ago, and more exactly ascertained than it was a 
thousand. History is at this day undergoing a process 
of revolution ; the science of criticism, the disinterment 
of antiquities, the unrolling of manuscripts, the inter- 
pretation of inscriptions, have thrown us into a new 
world of thought ; characters and events come forth 
transformed in the process ; romance, prejudice, local 
tradition, party bias, are no longer accepted as guarantees 
of truth ; the order and mutual relation of events are re- 
adjusted ; the springs and the scope of actions are 
reversed. Were Christianity a mere work of man, it too 
might turn out something different from what it has 
hitherto been considered ; its history might require re- 
writing, as the history of Eome, or of the earth's strata, 
or of languages, or of chemical action. A Catholic 
neither deprecates nor fears such inquiry, though he 
abhors the spirit in which it is conducted. He is willing 
that infidelity should do its work against the Church, 
knowing that she will be found just where she was, when 
the assault is over. It is nothing to him, though her 
enemies put themselves to the trouble of denying every 
thing that has hitherto been taught, and begin with con- 
structing her history all over again, being quite sure they 
will end at length with a compulsory admission of what 
at first they so wantonly discarded. But what he would 
feel so prodigious is this, — that such as you, my brethren, 
should consider Christianity given from heaven once for 
all, should protest against private judgment, should pro- 
fess to transmit what you have received, and yet, from 


diligent study of the Fathers, from your thorough know- 
ledge of St. Basil and St. Ohrysostom, from living, as 
you say, in the atmosphere of antiquity, should come forth 
into open day with your new edition of the Catholic faith, 
different from that held in any existing body of Chris- 
tians, which not half a dozen men all over the world w'ould 
honour with their imprimatur ; and then, withal, should 
be as positive in practice about its truth in every part, as 
if the voice of mankind were with you instead of against 
you. You are a body of yesterday ; you are a drop in 
the ocean of professing Christians ; yet you would give 
the law to priest and prophet ; and you fancy it a humble 
office forsooth, suited to humble men, to testify the very 
truth of revelation to a fallen generation, or rather to 
almost a bi-raillenary, which has been in unintermittent 
traditionary error. You have a mission to teach the 
National Church, which is to teach the British empire, 
which is to teach the world ; you are more learned than 
Greece ; you are purer than Rome ; you know better 
than St. Bernard ; you judge how far St. Thomas was 
right, and where he is to be read with caution, or held up 
to blame. You can bring to light juster views of grace, 
or of penance, or of invocation of saints, than St. 
Gregory or St. Augustine. 

" qualia vincunt, 
Pythagoren, Anytique reum, doctumque Platona." 

This is what you can do; yes, and when you have 
done all, to what have you attained? to do just what 
heretics have done before you, and have thereby incurred 
the anathema of Holy Church. Such was Jansenius ; for 
of him we are told, " From the commencement of his theo- 
logical studies, when he began to read, with the school- 


men, the holy Fathers, and especially Augustine, he 
at once saw, as he confessed, that most of the schoolmen 
went far astray from that holy Doctor's view, in that 
capital article of grace and free will. He sometimes 
owned to his friends, that he had read over more than 
ten times the entire works of Augustine, with lively 
attention, and diligent annotation, and his books against 
the Pelagians at least thirty times from beginning to 
end. He said that no mind, whether Aristotle, or Ar- 
chimedes, or any other under the heavens, was equal to 
Augustine. . . I have heard him say more than once, 
that life would be most delightful to him, though on 
some ocean-isle or rock, apart from all human society, 
had he but his Augustine with him. In a word, after 
God and Holy Scripture, Augustine was his all in all. 
However, for many years he had to struggle with his 
old opinions, before he put them all off, and arrived at 
the intimate sense of St. Augustine. . . . For this 
work, he often said, he was specially born ; and that, 
when he had finished it, he should be most ready to 
die *." Such was another nearer home, on whom 
Burnet bestows this panegyric : — " Cranmer," says he, 
"was at great pains to collect the sense of ancient 
writers upon all the heads of religion, by which he might 
be directed in such an important matter. I have seen 
two volumes in folio, written with his own hand, con- 
taining, upon all the heads of religion, a vast heap of 
places of Scripture, and quotations out of ancient Fa- 
thers, and later doctors and schoolmen, by which he 
governed himself in that work.*" 

And now, my brethren, will it not be so, as I have 

* Synops. Vit. ap. 0pp. 1643. 


said, of simple necessity, if you attempt at this time to 
perpetuate in the National Church a form of opinion 
which tlie National Church disowns ? You do not follow 
its Bishops ; you disown its existing traditions ; you are 
discontented with its divines ; you protest against its 
law-courts ; you shrink from its laity ; you outstrip 
its Prayer Book. You have in all respects an eclectic 
or an original religion of your own. You dare not stand 
or fall by Andrewes, or by Laud, or by Hammond, or by 
Bull, or by Thorndike, or by all of them together. There 
is a consensus of divines, stronger than for Baptismal Re- 
generation or the Apostolical succession, that Rome is, 
strictly and literally, an anti-Christian power ; — liberals 
and High Churchmen in your communion in this agree 
with Evangelicals ; you put it aside. There is a consensus 
against Transubstantiation, besides the declaration of the 
Article ; yet many of you hold it notwithstanding. Nearly 
all your divines, if not all, call themselves Protestants, and 
anathematize the name. Who makes the concessions 
to CathoHcs which you do, yet remains separate from 
them ? Who, among Anglican authorities, would speak 
of Penance as a sacrament, as you do ? Who of them 
encourages, much less insists upon, auricular confession, 
as you? or makes fasting an obligation? or uses the 
crucifix and the rosary ? or reserves the consecrated 
bread ? or believes in miracles as existing in your com- 
munion? or administers, as I believe you do. Extreme 
Unction? In some points you prefer Rome, in others 
Greece, in others England, in others Scotland ; and of 
that preference your own private judgment is the ulti- 
mate sanction. 

What am I to say in answer to conduct so preposte- 
rous ? Say you go by any authority whatever, and I shall 


know where to find you, and I shall respect you. Swear 
by any school of religion, old or modern, by Rouge's 
Church, or the Evangelical Alliance, nay, by yourselves, 
and I shall know what you mean, and will listen to you. 
But do not come to me with the latest fashion of opinion 
which the world has seen, and protest to me that it is the 
oldest. Do not come to me at this time of day with 
views palpably new, isolated, original, sui generis, war- 
ranted old neither by Christian or unbeliever, and chal- 
lenge me to answer what I really have not the patience 
to read. Life is not long enough for such trifles. Go 
elsewhere, not to me, if you wish to make a proselyte. 
Your inconsistency, my dear brethren, is on your very 
front. Nor pretend that you are but executing the 
sacred duty of defending your own communion. Your 
Church does not thank you for a defence, which she has 
no dream of appropriating. You innovate on her pro- 
fessions of doctrine, and then you bid us love her for 
your innovations. You cling to her for what she de- 
nounces ; and you almost anathematize us for taking a 
step which you would please her best by taking also. 
You call it restless, impatient, undutiful in us, to do 
what she would have us do ; and you think it a loving 
and confiding course to believe, not her, but you. She 
is to teach, and we to hear, only according to your pri- 
vate researches into St. Chrysostom and St. Augus- 
tine. "I began myself with doubting and inquiring," 
you seem to say ; "I departed from the teaching I re- 
ceived ; I was educated in some older type of Angli- 
canism ; in the school of Newton, Cecil, and Scott, or in 
the Bartlett's Buildings School ; or in the Liberal Whig 
School. I was a Dissenter, or a Wesleyan, and by study 
and thought I became an Anglo-Catholic. And then 


1 read the Fathers, and I have determined what works 
are genuine, and what are not ; which of them apply to 
all times, which are occasional ; which historical, and 
which doctrinal ; what opinions are private, what autho- 
ritative ; what they only seem to hold ; what they 
ought to hold ; what are fundamental, what ornamental. 
Having thus measured and cut and put together my 
creed by my own proper intellect, by my own lucu- 
brations, and differing from the whole world in my results, 
I distinctly bid you, I solemnly warn you, not to do as 
I have done, but to take what I have found, to revere it, 
to use it, to believe it, for it is the teaching of the old 
Fathers, and of your Mother the Church of England. 
Take my word for it, that this is the very truth of Christ ; 
deny your own reason, for I know better than you, and 
it is as clear as day that some moral fault in you is the 
cause of your differing from me. It is pride, or vanity, 
or self-reliance, or fulness of bread. You require some 
medicine for your soul ; you must fast ; you must make 
a general confession ; and look very sharp to yourself, for 
you are already next door to a rationalist or an infidel." 

Surely I have not exaggerated, my brethren, what you 
will be obliged to say, if you take the course which you 
are projecting ; but the point immediately before us is 
something short of this ; it is, whether a party in the 
Establishment, formed on such principles, (and as things 
are now it can be formed on no other,) can in any sense 
be called a genuine continuation of the Apostolical party 
of twenty years ago ? The basis of that party was the 
professed abnegation of private judgment ; your basis is 
the professed exercise of it. If you are really children of 
it as in 1833, you must have nothing to say to it in 



There are persons who may think that the line of 
thought, which I pursued in my last two Lectures, had 
somewhat of a secular and political cast, and was deficient 
in that simplicity which becomes an inquiry after religious 
truth. We are inquiring, you may say, whether the 
National Church is in possession of the Sacraments, 
whether we can obtain the grace of Christ, necessary for 
our salvation, at its hands? On this great question 
depends our leaving its communion, or not ; but you 
answer us by simply bidding us consider which course of 
action will look best, what the world expects of us, how 
posterity will judge of us, what termination is most 
logically consistent with our commencement, what are to 
be the historical fortunes in prospect, of a large body of 
men, variously circumstanced, and subject to a variety of 
influences from without and within. It is a personal, an 
individual question to each inquirer ; but you would have 
me view it as a political game, in which each side makes 



moves, and just now it is our turn, and not as a matter of 
religious conviction, duty, and responsibility. 

But thus to speak is mistaking the argument altogether. 
First, I am not addressing those who have no doubt what- 
ever about the divine origin of the Established Church. 
I am not attempting to rouse, or, as some would call it, 
unsettle them. If there be such, — for, to tell the truth, I 
almost doubt their existence, — I pass them by. I am 
contemplating that not inconsiderable number, who are, in 
a true sense, though in various degrees, and but in various 
modes, inquirers : who, on the one hand, have no doubt 
at all of the great Apostolical principles which are stamped 
upon the face of the early Church, and were the life of the 
movement of 1833 ; and who, on the other hand, are not 
without doubt about those principles being the property 
and the life of the National Church ; who have fears, 
grave anxieties, or vague misgivings, as the case may 
be, lest that communion be not a treasure-house and 
fount of grace ; and then again, all at once are afraid 
that, after all, perhaps it is, and that it is their own fault 
that they are blind to the fact, and that it is undutiful- 
ness in them to question it ; who, after even their most 
violent doubts, have seasons of relenting and compunc- 
tion ; and who at length are so perplexed by reason of 
the clear light pouring in on them from above, yet by the 
secret whisper the while, that they ought to doubt their 
own perceptions, because (as they are told) they are 
impatient, or self-willed, or excited, or dreaming, and 
have lost the faculty of looking at things in a natural, 
straightforward way, that at length they do not know 
what they hold and what they do not hold, or where they 
stand, and are in conflict within, and almost in a state 
of anarchy and recklessness. Now, to persons in this 


cruel strife of thought, I offer the consideration on which 
I have been dvveUing, as a sort of diversion to their 
harassed minds ; as an argument of fact, external to 
themselves, and over which they have no power, which is 
of a nature to arbitrate and decide for them between their 
antagonist judgments. You wish to know whether the 
Establishment is what you began by assuming it to be, — 
the grace-giving Church of God. If it be, you and your 
principles will surely find your position there and your 
home. When you proclaim it to be Apostolical, it will 
smile on you ; when you kneel down and ask its blessing, 
it will stretch its hands over you ; when you would strike 
at heresy, it will arm you for the fight ; when you wind 
your dangerous way with steady tread between Sabel- 
lius, Nestorius, and Eutyches, between Pelagius and 
Calvin, it will follow you with anxious eyes and a beating 
heart ; when you proclaim its relationship to Rome and 
Greece, it will in transport embrace you as its own dear 
children ; you will sink happily into its arms, you will 
repose upon its breast, you will recognize your mother, 
and be at peace. If, however, on the contrary, you find 
that the more those great principles, which you have 
imbibed from St. Athanasius and St. Augustine, and which 
have become the life and the form of your moral and 
intellectual being, vegetate and expand within you, the 
more awkward and unnatural you find your position 
there, and the more difficult its explanation ; if there is no 
lying, or standing, or sitting, or kneeling, or stooping 
there, in any possible attitude, but, as if in the tyrant's 
cage, when you would rest your head, your legs are 
forced out between the Articles, and when you would 
relieve your back, your head strikes against the Prayer 
Book ; when, place yourselves as you will, on the right 



side or the left, and try to keep as still as you can, your 
flesh is ever being punctured and probed by Episcopate, 
laity, and nine-tenths of the Clergy ; is it not as plain as 
day that the Establishment is not your place, since it is 
no place for your principles? They are not there 
professed, they are not there realized. That mystical 
sacramental system, on which your thoughts live, which 
was once in the world, as you know well, and therefore 
must be always, is not the inheritance of Anglicanism, 
but must have been left to others; it must be sought 
elsewhere. You have doubts on the point already ; well, 
here is the confirmation of them. I have no wish, then, 
to substitute an e.xternal and political view for your 
personal serious inquiry. I am but assisting you in that 
inquiry ; T am deciding existing doubts, which belong to 
yourselves, by an external fact, which is as admissible, 
surely, in such a matter, as the allegation of miracles 
would be, or any other evidence of the kind ; for the 
same God who works in you individually, is working in 
the public and historical course of things also. 

I think, then, that in my last Lectures I have proved, 
adequately, for it would take many words to do justice 
to a proof so abundant in materials, but as far as time 
allowed, and as was necessary for those who would 
pursue the thought, that the movement to which you and 
I belong, looks away from the Establishment, that " Let 
us go hence,"" is its motto. I cannot doubt you would 
agree with me in this, did you not belong to it, did you 
disbelieve its principles, were you merely disinterested, 
dispassionate lookers-on : judge then as disbelieving, act 
as believing them. If the movement be a providential 
work, it has a providential scope ; if that scope be not a 
coalition with, or a party in, the Establishment, as I 


have been proving, what is it ? Is it towards Greece, or 
is it towards America, or is it towards Scotland, or is it 
towards Rome ? This is the subject which has next to 
be considered, and to which, in part, I shall address my- 
self to-day. 

But, first, there is a point to be cleared up. Either 
the movement is not from God, or the Establishment is 
not : we must abjure our principles, or abandon our 
communion. If we abandon our communion, we do so as 
denying that it is from God ; if we continue in it, we do 
so as not denying it. We leave the Establishment as a 
something human which has been imposed upon us as 
something divine. We leave the Establishment in order 
to gain elsewhere that grace and that salvation which we 
cannot find there. This being considered, it is a confu- 
sion of thought to reason and to determine on the 
subject, as many men have done before now. Some 
years ago, when certain members of the Establishment 
were contemplating a submission to the Holy See, the 
AngHcan prints suggested to them, that in that case 
their becoming course was, to quit the country for ever, 
and not to embarrass their friends with their presence. 
It was supposed to be their duty to be content with 
saving their own souls, and then to get out of the way, 
and not to contemplate the souls of others, however dear 
to them ; and, as if they still acknowledged the Esta- 
blishment, which they were leaving, to be the Catholic 
Church, to retire to some region where, without offend- 
ing others, their taste could be gratified by a Christianity, 
not truer, indeed, nor safer, but more to their mind. 
But, my dear brethren, such a view arises from a simple 
insensibility to a truth, as obvious as it is solemn, that 


the choice of a religion is a question of salvation. It is 
not a question of mere historical fact, as whether St. 
Joseph came to Glastonbury, or Paul IV. was severe with 
Elizabeth ; or of architecture, as whether the arch should 
be round or pointed, and altars of stone or of wood ; or 
of antiquities, as whether primitive baptism was by im- 
mersion ; or of taste, as whether the sign of the cross 
should be made from left to right, or from right to left, 
or prayers should be said fast or slow : but it is a 
question of Church or no Church, of sacraments or not, of 
life or death, of duty or sin. The very fact of leaving 
the Establishment is a denial that there is any thing to 
leave ; it is an ignoring of its presence. What, then, has 
leaving the Establishment to do with leaving the country ? 
How can I recognize what I ignore ? How can I defer 
to what I denounce ? How can that exist on my leaving 
it, which, when I purposed leaving it, existed not I How 
can its extinction be its revival 1 Again, how can I think 
it cast out from God"'s countenance, yet a fit nurse of His 
children 1 How can I think it a fraud, yet a pious one ? 
How can I leave it myself, without wishing all others to 
do as I ? How can I retire abroad, when I might do work 
at home ? How can I live in peace, when I might be a 
soldier of Christ ? Persons wonder that converts should 
be what they call bitter against the Establishment, and 
think it a credit to them to treat it with consideration. 
Certainly it is wrong to be bitter, but it is wrong also to 
call evil good, and to countenance error. If the Esta- 
blishment be true, remain in it ; if it be false, confront it. 
Do not give place to it ; do not leave it in possession of 
its usurped territory ; do not imply by your conduct that, 
in fact, the Catholic Church cannot be in England : the 
Catholic Church is every where, and as soon as you come 


to see that the EstabHshment is not the CathoHc Church 
in England, that moment you are sure that some other 
body is. 

Therefore, my brethren, if so it is that you have fol- 
lowed me in my last Lectures in the conclusion to which 
I came, that the principles of 1833 have no home in the 
National Church, I reheve you from all fears of expatria- 
tion as its consequence. Your first step is secession, 
your second need not be exile ; you will have to make 
sacrifices enough, but this is not one of them. Such a 
notion is the reasoning of the inconsistent, or the judg- 
ment of the unreal. You need not settle in Rome, or in 
Paris, or in Siberia, or in Greece, or in Scotland, or in the 
United States of America. You may remain where you 
are ; as far as schism goes, you are at liberty to introduce, 
you are free to join, any priesthood you will. You may 
remain at home, and be a Jansenist, or a Russian, or a 
Greek, or an Armenian, or a Chaldee, or a Copt, or what 
you call a Roman Catholic. It is a question of doctrine 
and of sacramental grace which you have to decide, and 
nothing else. You cannot affront the Establishment more 
emphatically than by your act of abjuring it ; you have 
done your all ; you have pronounced it dead, — bury it. 

But now, before you go on to select, out of all the 
rival claimants upon your notice, the particular succes- 
sion and priesthood which you are to introduce into 
England, I am going to offer you a suggestion which, if 
it approves itself to you, will do away with the opportu- 
nity, or the possibility, of choice altogether. It will 
reduce the claimants to one. Before considerino-, then, 
whither you shall betake yourselves, and what you shall 
be, bear with me while I give you one piece of advice ; it 
is this : — Have nothing to do with a " Branch Church." 


You have had enough experience of branch churches 
already, and you know very well what they are. Depend 
upon it, such as is one, such is another. They may 
differ in accidents certainly ; but, after all, a branch is a 
branch, and no branch is a tree. Depend on it, my 
brethren, it is not worth while leaving one branch for 
another. While you are doing so great a work, do it 
thoroughly ; do it once for all ; change for th e better. 
Bather than go to another branch, remain where you are ; 
do not put yourselves to trouble for nothing; do not 
sacrifice this world, without gaining the next. Now let 
us consider this point attentively. 

By a Branch Church is meant, I suppose, if we inter- 
pret the metaphor, a church separate from its stem ; and 
if we ask what is meant by the stem, I suppose it means 
the " Universal Church," as you are accustomed to call 
it. The Catholic Church indeed is one kingdom or so- 
ciety, divisible into parts, each of which is in intercom- 
munion with each other and with the whole, as the 
members of a human body. This Catholic Church, I 
suppose you would say, has ceased to exist, or at least 
is in deliquium, for you will not give the name to us, 
nor do you take it yourselves, and scarcely ever use the 
phrase at all, except in the Creed ; but the " Universal 
Church" is the name you give to the whole body of pro- 
fessing Christians all over the world, whatever their faith, 
origin, and traditions, provided they lay claim to an 
Apostolical succession ; which whole is divisible into 
portions or branches, each of them independent of the 
whole, discordant one with another in doctrine and 
ritual, destitute of mutual intercommunion, and more 
frequently in actual warfare, portion with portion, than 
in a state of neutrality. Such is pretty nearly what you 


mean by a Branch, allowing for differences of opinion on 
the subject; such, for instance, is the Russian Branch, 
which denounces the Pope as a usurper ; such the Papal, 
which anathematizes the Protestantism of the Anglican ; 
such the Anghcan, which reprobates the devotions and 
scorns the rites of the Russian ; such the Scotch, which 
has changed the Eucharistic service of the Anglican; 
such the American, which has put aside its Athanasian 

Such, I say, is a Branch Church, and it is virtually 
synonymous with a National ; for though it may be in 
fact but one out of many communions in a nation, it is 
intended, by its very mission, as preacher and evangelist, 
to spread through the nation ; nor has it done its duty till 
it has so spread, for it must be supposed to have the 
promise of success as well as the mission. On the other 
hand, it cannot flow out beyond the nation, for the very 
principle of demarcation between Branch and Branch 
is the distinction of Nation or State ; to the Nation then 
or State is it limited, and beyond the nation"'s boundaries 
it cannot properly pass. Thus it is the normal condition 
of a Branch Church to be a National Church ; it tends 
to nationality as its perfect idea ; till it is national it is 
defective, and when it is national it is all it can be, or 
was meant to be. Since then to understand what any 
being is, we must contemplate it, not in its rudiments or 
commencements, any more than in its decline, but in its 
maturity and its perfection, it follows that, if we would 
know what a Branch Church is, we must view it as a 
National Church, and we shall form but an erroneous 
estimate of its nature and its characteristics, unless we 
investigate its national form. 

Recollect then that a Branch Church is a National 


Church, and the reason why I warn you against getting 
your orders from such a Church, or joining such a 
Church, is this : that a National Church ever will be and 
must be what you have found the Establishment to be, — 
an Erastian body. You are going to start afresh. Well, 
then, I assert, that if you do not get beyond the idea of 
Nationalism in this your new beginning, you spring from 
Erastianism, and to Erastianism you tend. That heresy, 
which is the fruitful mother of all heresies, is your first 
and your last ; the source of your orders and the fruit 
of your aggrandizement ; that heresy, I say, which is the 
very badge of Anglicanism, and the very detestation of 
that theological movement from which you spring. 

I assert, then, that a Branch or National Church is 
necessarily Erastian, and cannot be otherwise, till the 
nature of man is other than it is ; and I shall show this 
from the state of the case, and from the course of his- 
tory, and from the confession, or rather avowal, of its 
defenders. The English Establishment is nothing extra- 
ordinary in this respect ; the Russian Church is Erastian, 
so is the Greek ; such was the Nestorian ; such would be 
the Scotch Episcopal or the Anglo-American, if ever 
they became commensurate with the nation. 

You hold, and rightly hold, that the Church is a 
sovereign and self-sustaining power, in the same sense in 
which any temporal state is such. She is sufficient for 
herself ; she is absolutely independent in her own sphere ; 
she has irresponsible control over her subjects in religious 
matters ; she makes laws for them of her own authority, 
and enforces obedience on them as the tenure of their 
membership in her communion. And you know, in the 
next place, that the very people, who are her subjects, 
are in another relation the State's subjects, and that 


those very matters which in one aspect are spiritual, in 
another are secular. The very same persons and the very 
same things belong to two supreme jurisdictions at once, so 
that the Church cannot issue any order but it affects the 
persons and the things of the State ; nor can the State 
issue any order, without its affecting the persons and the 
things of the Church. Moreover, though there is a 
general coincidence between the principles on which civil 
and ecclesiastical welfare respectively depend, as pro- 
ceeding from one and the same God, who has given 
power to the Magistrate as well as to the Priest, yet 
there is no necessary coincidence in their particular 
application and resulting details, just as the good of the 
soul is not always the good of the body ; and much more 
is this the case, considering there is no divine direction 
promised to the State, to preserve it from human passion 
and human selfishness. Under these circumstances it is 
morally impossible that there should not be continual 
collision, or chance of collision, between the State and 
the Church ; and, considering the State has the power 
of the sword, and the Church has no arms but such as 
are spiritual, the problem to be considered by us is, how 
the Church may be able to do her divinely appointed 
work without molestation or seduction from the 

And a difficulty surely it is, and a difficulty which 
Christianity for the most part brought into the world. 
It can scarcely be said to have existed before ; for, if 
not altogether in Judaism, yet certainly in the heathen 
polities, the care of public worship, and morals, and 
education, was mainly committed, as well as secular 
matters, to the civil magistrate. There was no inde- 
pendent jurisdiction in religion ; but, when our Lord 
came, it was with the express object of introducing a 

146 LECTURE vr. 

new kingdom, distinct and different from the kingdoms 
of the world, and He was sought after by Herod, and con- 
demned by Pilate, on the very apprehension that His 
claims to royalty were inconsistent with their preroga- 
tives. Such was the Church when first introduced into 
the world, and her subsequent history has been after the 
pattern of her commencement ; the State has ever been 
jealous of her, and persecuted her from without, and has 
bribed her from within. 

I repeat, the great principles of the State are those of 
the Church, and, if the State would but keep within its 
own province, it would find the Church its truest ally 
and best benefactor. She upholds obedience to the 
magistrate ; she recognizes his office as from God ; she 
is the preacher of peace, the sanction of law, the first 
element of order, and the safeguard of morality, and 
that without possible vacillation or failure : she may 
be fully trusted : she is a sure friend, for she is 
indefectible and undying. But it is not enough for 
the State that things should be done, unless it has 
the doing of them; it abhors a double jurisdiction, 
and what it calls a divided allegiance ; aut Ccesar aut 
nullus^ is its motto, nor does it willingly accept of any 
compromise. All power is founded, as it is often said, 
on public opinion ; to allow the existence of a collateral 
and rival authority, is to weaken its own ; and though 
that authority never showed its presence by collision, but 
ever concurred and co-operated in the acts of the State, 
yet the divinity with which the State would fain hedge 
itself, would, in the minds of men, be concentrated on that 
Ordinance of God which has the higher claim to it. 

Such being the difficulty which ever has attended, and 
ever will attend, the claims and the position of the 
Catholic Church in this proud and ambitious world, let 


US see how, as a matter of history, Providence has prac- 
tically solved or alleviated it. He has done so by means 
of the very circumstance that the Church is Catholic, 
that she is one organized body, expanded over the whole 
earth, and in active intercommunion part with part, 
so that no one part acts without acting on and with 
every other. A large community necessarily moves 
slowly ; and this will particularly be the case when it is 
subject to distinct temporal rulers, exposed to various 
political interests and prepossessions, and embarrassed by 
such impediments to communication, physical or moral, 
mountains and seas, languages and laws, as national dis- 
tinctions involve. Added to this, the Church is com- 
posed of a vast number of ranks and offices, so that there 
is scarcely any of her acts that belongs to one indivi- 
dual will, or is elaborated by one intellect, or that is 
not rather the joint result of many co-operating agents, 
each in his own place and at his appointed moment. 
Moreover, so fertile an idea as the Christian faith, so 
happy a mother as the Catholic Church, is necessarily 
developed and multiplied into a thousand various powers 
and functions ; she has her Clergy and laity, her seculars 
and regulars, her Episcopate and Prelacy, her diversified 
orders, congregations, confraternities, communities, each 
indeed intimately one with the whole, yet with its own 
characteristics, its own work, its own traditions, its 
graceful rivalry, or its disgraceful jealousies, and sensitive, 
on its own ground and its own sphere, of whatever takes 
place any where else. And then again, there is the ever- 
vai'ying action of the ten thousand influences, political, 
national, local, municipal, rural, scholastic, all bearing 
upon her ; the clashing of temporal interests, the appre- 
hension of danger to the whole or its parts, the necessity 


of conciliation, and the duty of temporizing. Further, 
she has no material weapons of attack or defence, and is 
at any moment susceptible of apparent defeat from local 
suffering or personal misadventure. Moreover, her 
centre is one, and, from this very circumstance, sheltered 
from secular inquisitiveness ; sheltered, moreover, in con- 
sequence of the antiquated character of its traditions, 
the peculiarity of its modes of acting, the tranquillity and 
deliberateness of its operations, as well as the mysterious- 
ness thrown about it both from its picturesque and im- 
posing ceremonial, and the popular opinion of its sanctity. 
And further still, she has the sacred obligation on her of 
long-suffering, patience, charity, of regard for the souls 
of her children, and of an anxious anticipation of the con- 
sequences of her measures. Hence, though her course 
is consistent, determinate, and simple, when viewed in 
history, yet to those who accompany the stages of its 
evolution from day to day as they occur, it is confused 
and disappointing. 

How different is the bearing of the temporal power ! 
Its promptitude, decisiveness, keenness, and force are 
well represented in the military array which is its instru- 
ment. Punctual in its movements, precise in its opera- 
tions, imposing in its equipments, with its spirits high, 
and its step firm, with its haughty clarion and its black 
artillery, behold, the mighty world is gone forth to war, 
with what ? with an unknown something, which it feels 
but cannot see ; which flits around it, which flaps against 
its cheek, with the air, with the wind. It charges, and 
it slashes, and it fires its vollies, and it bayonets, and it is 
mocked by a foe who dwells in another sphere, and is far 
beyond the force of its analysis or the capacities of its 
calculus. The air gives away, and it returns again ; it 


exerts a gentle but constant pressure on every side : 
moreover, it is of vital necessity to the very power which 
is attacking it. Whom have you gone out against? a 
few old men, with red hats and stockings, or a hundred 
pale students, with eyes on the ground and beads in their 
girdle ; they are as stubble ; destroy them ; — then there 
will be other old men and other pale students instead of 
them. But we will direct our rage against one ; he flees ; 
what is to be done with him l Cast him out upon the 
wide world ? But nothing can go on without him. Then 
bring him back : but he will give us no guarantee for the 
future. Then leave him alone ; his power is gone, he is 
at an end, or he will take a new course of himself : he 
will take part with the world. Meanwhile, the multitude 
of influences all over the great Catholic body, rise up all 
around, and hide heaven and earth from the eyes of the 
spectators of the combat ; and unreal judgments are 
hazarded, and rash predictions, till the mist clears away, 
and then the old man is found in his own place, as before, 
saying Mass over the tomb of the Apostles. Eesentment 
and animosity succeed in the minds of the many, when 
they find their worldly wisdom quite at fault. But, in 
truth, it is her very vastness, her manifold constituents, 
her complicated structure, which give the Church this 
semblance, whenever she wears it, of feebleness, vacilla- 
tion, subtleness, or dissimulation. She advances, retires, 
goes to and fro, passes to the right or left, bides her time, 
by a spontaneous, not a deliberate, action. It is the 
divinely-intended method of her coping with the world's 
power. Even in the brute creation, each animal which 
God has made has its own instincts for securing its sub- 
sistence, and guarding against its foes ; and when He 
sent out His own into the world, as sheep among wolves, 



over and above the gifts of harmlessness and wisdom, He 
lodged the security of His truth in the very fact of its 
Cathohcity. The Church triumphs over the world's juris- 
diction every where, because, though every where, it is, for 
that very reason, in the fulness of her jurisdiction, no 
where. Ten thousand subordinate authorities have been 
planted round,, or have issued from, that venerable chair 
where sits the plenitude of Apostolical power. Hence, 
when she would act, the blow is ^ broken, and concussion 
avoided, by the innumerable springs, if I may use the 
word, on which the celestial machinery is hung. By an 
inevitable law of the system, and by the nature of the 
case, there are inquiries, and remonstrances, and threat- 
enings, and first decisions, and appeals, and reversals, and 
conferences, and long delays, and arbitrations, before the 
final steps are taken, if they cannot be avoided, and 
before the proper authority of the Church shows itself, 
whether in definition, or bull, or anathema, or interdict, 
or other spiritual instrument ; and then if, after all, per- 
suasion has failed, and compromise with the civil power is 
impossible, the world is prepared for the event ; and even 
in that case the Holy See is spared any direct collision 
with it, for it is no subject in matters temporal of 
the State with which it is at variance, whatever it be, 
being temporal Sovereign in its own home, and treating 
with the States of the earth only through its representa- 
tives and ministers. 

The remarks I have been making are well illustrated 
by the history of our own great St. Thomas, in his contest 
with King Henry II. Deserted by his suffragans, and 
threatened with assassination, he is forced to escape, as 
he can, to the Continent. He puts his cause before the 
Pope, but with no immediate result, for the Pope is in 


contest with the Emperor, who has taken part with a 
pretender to the ApostoHc see. For two years nothing is 
done ; then the Pope begins to move, but mediates 
between Archbishop and King, instead of taking the part 
of the former. The King of France comes forward on 
the Saint''s side, and his friends attempt to gain the 
Empress Matilda also. Strengthened by these demon- 
strations, St. Thomas excommunicates some of the 
King''s party, and threatens the King himself, not to say 
his realm, with an interdict. Then there are appeals to 
Rome on the part of the King*'s Bishops, alarmed at the 
prospect of such extremities, while the Pope gives a 
more distinct countenance to the Saint's cause. Sud- 
denly, the face of things is overcast ; the Pope has ana- 
thematized the Emperor, and has his hands full of his 
own matters ; Henry's agents at Rome obtain a Lega- 
tine Commission, under the presidency of a Cardinal 
favourable to his cause. 

The quarrel lingers on ; two years more have passed, 
and then the Commission fails. Then St. Thomas rouses 
himself again, and is proceeding with the interdict, when 
news comes that the King has overreached the Pope, 
and the Archbishop's povvers are altogether suspended 
for a set time. The artifice is detected by the good 
offices of the French Bishops, the Pope sends commina- 
tory letters to the King, but then again does not carry 
them out. There is a reconciliation between the Kings 
of England and France, at the expense of St. Thomas ; 
but, by this time, the suspension is over, and the Saint 
excommunicates the Bishop of London. In consequence, 
he receives a rebuke from the Pope, who, after absolving 
the Bishop, takes the matter into his own hands, himself 
excommunicates the Bishop, and himself threatens the 

o 2 


kingdom with an interdict. Then St. Thomas returns, 
and is martyred, winning the day by suffering, not by 

Seven years are consumed in these transactions from 
first to last, and they afford a sufficient illustration of the 
subject before us. If I add the remarks made on them 
by the editor of the Saint's letters, in Mr. Froude's 
" Eemains," it is for the sake of his general statement, 
which is as just as it is apposite to my purpose, but not 
as if I approved of the tone and drift of it. Speaking of 
St. Thomas, he says, " His notions, both as regarded the 
justice and the policy to be pursued in the treatment of 
Henry, had suggested this course [the interdict] to him 
from the first opening of the contest ; and he seems 
always to have had such a measure before him, only the 
interruptions occasioned by embassies from Rome, and 
appeals to Rome, and other temporary suspensions of his 
ecclesiastical powers, had prevented him from putting 
his purpose into effect ; these having, in fact, taken up 
almost the whole of the time. For an embassy, it must 
be observed, from the first day of its appointment, sus- 
pended the Archbishop"'s movements, who could do 
nothing while special and higher judges were in office . . . 
In this way, there being so much time, both before and 
after the actual holding of the conferences, during which 
the Archbishop's hands were tied, he may be said to have 
been almost under one sentence of suspension from the 
first, only rendered more harassing and vexatious from 
the promise afforded by his short intervals of liberty, and 
the alternations, in consequence, of expectation and dis- 
appointment. It was a state of confinement, which was 
always approaching its termination, and never realizing it. 
With a clear line of action before him from the first, and 


with resolution and ability to carry it out, the Archbishop 
was compelled to keep pace, step by step, with a court 
that was absolutely deficient in both these respects ; and 
found himself reduced throughout to a situation of simple 
passiveness and endurance \'" Of course; — a Branch 
Church, with the Catholic dogma and with Saints in it, 
cannot be ; but, supposing the Enghsh Church had been 
such at the time of that contest, it would, humanly 
speaking, have inevitably been shattered to pieces, or 
else its Saints got rid of, its Erastianizing Bishops made 
its masters, and ultimately its dogma corrupted, and the 
times of Henry VIII. anticipated; — this would have 
been, but for its intercommunion with the rest of Chris- 
tendom and the supremacy of Rome. 

This, however, is what has been going on, in one way 
or another, for the whole eighteen centuries of Christian 
history. For even in the ante-Nicene period, the heretic 
patriarch of Antioch was protected by the local sove- 
reignty against the Catholics, and was dispossessed by 
the authority and influence of Rome. And since that 
time, again and again would the civil power, humanly 
speaking, have taken captive and corrupted each portion 
of Christendom in turn, but for its union with the rest, 
and the noble championship of the Holy See. Our ears 
ring with the oft-told tale, how the temporal sovereign 
persecuted, or attempted, or gained the local Episcopate, 
and how the many or the few faithful fell back on Rome. 
So was it with the Arians in the East, and St, Athanasius ; 
so with the Byzantine Empress and St. Chrysostom; so with 
the Vandal Hunneric and the Africans ; so with the 130 
Monophysite Bishops at Ephesus and St. Flavian ; so was 

' Froude'fl Remains, vol. iv. p. 449. 

154 . LECTURE VI. 

it in the instance of the 500 Bishops, who, by the influence 
of Basilicas, signed a declaration against the tome of St. 
Leo ; so in the instance of the Henoticon of Zeno ; and 
in the controversies both of the Monothelites and of the 
Iconoclasts. Nay, in some of those few instances which 
are brought in controversy, as derogatory to the constancy 
of the Roman See, the vacillation, whatever it was, was 
owing to what, as I have shown, is ordinarily avoided, — 
the immediate and direct pressure of the temporal power. 
As, among a hundred Martyr and Confessor Popes, St. 
Peter and St. Marcellinus, for an hour or a day denied 
their Lord, so, if Liberius and Vigilius gave a momentary 
scandal to the cause of orthodoxy, it was when they were 
no longer in their proper place, as the keystone of a great 
system, and as the correlative of a thousand ministering 
authorities, but mere individuals, torn from their see, and 
prostrated before Csesar. 

In later and modern times we see the same truth irre- 
sistibly brought out ; not only, for instance, in St. 
Thomas''s history, but in St. Anselm''s, nay, in the whole 
course of English ecclesiastical affairs, from the Conquest 
to the sixteenth century, and, not with least significancy, 
in the primacy of Cranmer. Moreover, we see it in the 
tendency of the Gallicanism of Louis XIV., and the 
Josephism of Austria. Such, too, is the lesson taught 
us in the recent policy of the Czar towards the United 
Greeks, and in the present bearing of the English 
Government towards the Church of Ireland. In all these 
instances, it is a struggle between the Holy See and some 
local, perhaps distant. Government, the liberty and ortho- 
doxy of its faithful people being the matter in dispute ; 
and while the temporal power is on the spot, and eager, 
and cogent, and persuasive, and dangerous, the strength 


of the assailed party lies in its fidelity to the rest of 
Christendom and to the Holy See. 

Well, this is intelligible ; we see why it should be so, 
and we see it in historical fact ; but how is it possible, 
and where are the instances in proof, that a Church can 
cast off Catholic intercommunion without falling under 
the power of the State ? Could an isolated Church do 
now, what, humanly speaking, it could not have done in 
the twelfth century, though a Saint was its champion ? 
Do you hope to do, my brethren, what was beyond St. 
Thomas of Canterbury ? Truly is it then called a Branch 
Church ; for, as a branch cannot live of itself, in conse- 
quence, when lopped off the Body of Christ, it is straight- 
way grafted upon the civil constitution, if it is to preserve 
life of any kind. Indeed, who could ever entertain such 
a dream, as that a circumscribed religious society, without 
the awfulness of a divine origin, the sacredness of imme- 
morial custom, or the prestige of many previous successes, 
while standing on its own ground, and simply subject in 
its constituent members to the civil power, should be able 
to assert ecclesiastical claims, which are to impede the 
free action of that same sovereign power, and to insult 
its majesty ? — a native hierarchy, growing out of its very 
soil, challenging it, standing breast to breast against it, 
breathing defiance into its very face, striking at it full 
and straight, — why, as men are constituted, such a 
nuisance, as they would call it, v/ould be intolerable. 
The rigid, unelastic, wooden contrivance would be 
shivered into bits by the very recoil and jar of the 
first blow it was rash enough to venture. But matters 
would not go so far ; the blandishments, the alliances, 
the bribes, the strong arm of the world, would bring 
it to its senses, and humble it in its own sight, ere it had 


opportunity to be so valiant. The world would simply 
overmaster the presumptuous claimant to divine autho- 
rity, and would use for its own purposes the slave whom 
it had dishonoured. It would set her to sweep its courts, 
or keep the line of its triumphant march, who had 
thought to i-eign among the stars of heaven. 

For, it is evident, a National Church can be of the 
highest service to the State, if properly under control. 
The State wishes to make its subjects peaceful and obedi- 
ent; and there is nothing more fitted to effect this object 
than religion. It wishes them to have some teaching 
about the next world, but not too much ; just as 
much as is important and beneficial to the interests of 
the present. Decency, order, industry, patience, so- 
briety, and as much of purity as can be expected from 
human nature, — this is its list of requisites ; not dogma, 
for it creates the odium theologicum ; not mystery, for it 
only serves to exalt the priesthood. Useful, sensible 
preaching, activity in benevolent schemes, the care of 
schools, the superintendence of charities, good advice for 
the thoughtless and idle, and spiritual consolation for the 
dying, — these are the duties of a National or Branch 
Church. The parochial clergy are to be a moral police ; 
and, as the Bishops, they are to be officers of a State- 
religion, not shepherds of a people ; not mixing in the 
crowd, but coming forward on solemn occasions to crown, 
or to marry or baptize royalty, or to read prayers to the 
nobles of the realm, or to consecrate churches, or to 
ordain and confirm, or to preach for charities, and but 
little seen in public in any other way. Synods are un- 
necessary and dangerous, for they convey the impression 
that the Establishment is a distinct body, and has rights 
of its own. So is discipline, or any practical separation 


of Churchmen and Dissenters ; for nationaHty is the real 
bond, and Churchmanship but the accident of an EngUsh- 
nian. Churches and churchyards are national property, 
and open to all, whatever their denomination, for mar- 
riage and for burial, when they will. Nor must the 
Establishment be in the eye of the law a corporation, 
even though its separate incumbents and chapters be 
such, lest it be looked upon as politically more than a 
name or a function of State. 

Now, in order to show that this is no exaggeration, 
I will, in conclusion, refer in evidence to the celebrated 
work of a celebrated man, in defence of the Establish- 
ment ; a work, too, which disowns Erastianism, and, in 
a certain sense, is written against it, and which, more- 
over, is in point of doctrine, behind what would be main- 
tained or taken for granted now. For all these reasons, 
I could not take a work, in illustration of what I have 
said, fairer to the National Church, than " The Alliance 
of Church and State," of Bishop Warburton. A few 
extracts will be sufficient for my purpose. 

In this treatise he tells us, that the object of the State 
is, not the propagation of the truth, but the well-being of 
society. " The true end," he says, " for which religion 
is established" by the State, "is not to provide for the 
true faith, but for civil utility ^" This is " the key," 
he observes, " to open the whole mystery of this contro- 
versy, and to lead" a man "safe through all the intri- 
cacies, windings, and perplexities in which it has been 
involved." Next, religion is to be used in order to 
benefit that which, it seems, does not in any true sense 
provide for religion. " This use of religion to the State," 

» Bp. Warburton's " Alliance of Church and State," p. 148, ed, 1741. 


he says, " was seen by the learned, and felt by all men 
of every age and nation. The ancient world particularly 
was so firmly convinced of this truth, that the greatest 
secret of the sublime art of legislation consisted in this — 
how best religion might be applied to serve society '." 

Well, so far we might tolerate him ; such statements, 
if not true, are not absolutely unheard of or para- 
doxical ; but next he makes a startling step in advance. 
" Public utility and truth coincide *," he says ; nay, fur- 
ther still, he distinctly calls public utility, " a sure rule 
and measure of truth * ;" so that, he continues, by means 
of it, the State " will be much better enabled to find out 
truth than any speculative inquirer, with all the aid of 
the philosophy of the schools ®." " From whence it ap- 
pears," he continues, " that while a State, in union with 
the Church, hath so great an interest and concern with 
true religion, and so great a capacity for discovering 
what is true, religion is likely to thrive much better than 
when left to itself." The State then, it would appear, 
out of compassion to religion, takes it out of the schools, 
and adapts it to its own purposes to keep it pure and 
make it perfect. 

He does not scruple to bring out this very sentiment 
in the most explicit statement, that there may be no 
mistake about his meaning. He considers conformity to 
objects of State the simple test of truth, purity, exagge- 
ration, excess, perversity, or dangerousness in doctrinal 
teaching. " Of whatever use," he says, '^ an alliance may 
be thought for preserving the being of religion, the neces- 
sity of it for preserving its 'purity is most evident 

Let us consider the danger religion runs, when left in its 

3 Ibid. p. 18. * Ibid. p. 147. 

5 Ibid. p. 135. « Ibid. 


natural state to itself, of deviating from truth. In those 
circumstances, the men who have the greatest credit in 
the Church are such as are famed for greatest sanctity. 
Now Church sanctity has been generally understood to 
be then most perfect, when most estranged from the 
world and all its habitudes and relations. But this 
being only to be acquired by secession and retirement 
from human affairs, and that secession rendering man 
ignorant of civil society and its rights and interests, in 
place of which will succeed, according to his natural 
temper, all the follies of superstition or fanaticism, 
we must needs conclude, that religion, under such di- 
rectors and reformers, (and God knows these are gene- 
rally its lot,) will deviate from truth, and consequently from 
a capacity, in proportion, of serving civil society .... Such 
societies we have seen, whose religious doctrines are so 
little serviceable to civil society that they can prosper 
only on the ruin and destruction of it. Such are those 
who preach up the sanctity of celibacy, ascetism, the 
sinfulness of defensive war, of capital punishments, and 
even of civil magistracy itself. On the other hand, when 
religion is in alliance with the State, as it then comes 
under the magistrate''s direction, (those holy leaders 
having now neither credit nor power to do mischief,) its 
purity must needs be reasonably well supported and pre- 
served. For, truth and public utility coinciding, the 
civil magistrate, as such, will see it for his interest to 
seek after and promote the truth in religion ; and, by 
means of public utility, which his office enables him so 
well to understand, he will never be at a loss to know 
where such truth is to be found '." 
. He takes delight in this view of the subject, and en- 

' Ibid. p. 58. 


forces it as follows : — " The means of attaining man's 
happiness here," he says, " is civil society ; the means of 
his happiness hereafter is contemplation. If then opi- 
nions, the result of contemplation, obstruct the effects of 
civil society, it follows that they must be restrained. 
Accordingly, the ancient masters of wisdom, who, from 
these considerations, taught that man was born for 
action, not for contemplation, universally concurred to 
establish it as a maxim, founded on the nature of things, 
that opinions should always give way to civil peace *."" 
And he proceeds to defend it as follows : " God so 
disposed things, that the means of attaining the happi- 
ness of one state [of existence] should not cross or ob- 
struct the means of attaining the happiness of the other. 
From whence we must conclude, that where the supposed 
means of each, viz. opinions and civil peace, do clash, 
there one of them is not the true means of happiness. 
But the means of attaining the happiness peculiar to 
that state in which the man at present exists, being 
perfectly and infallibly Jcnown by man, and the means of 
the happiness of his future existence, as far as relates to 
the discovery of truth, but very imperfectly Jcnown by him, 
it necessarily follows that, wherever opinions clash with 
civil peace, those opinions are no means of future happiness, 
or, in other words, are either no truths, or truths of no 
importance." Behold the principle of the reasonings 
of the Committee of Privy Council, and the philosophy 
of the Premier's satisfaction thereupon ! Baptismal rege- 
neration is made true or not true, not by the text of 
Scripture, the testimony of the Fathers, the tradition of 
the Church, nay, not by Prayer Book, Articles, Jewell, 
Usher, Carleton, or BuUinger, but by its tendency to 

8 Ibid. p. 126. 


minister to the peace and repose of the community, to 
the convenience and comfort of Downing Street, Lam- 
beth, and Exeter Hall. 

If the Bishop makes doctrine depend upon political 
expedience, it is not wonderful that he should take the 
same measure of the Sacraments and orders of his 
Church. " Hence," he says, " may be seen the folly 
of those Christian sects, which, under pretence that 
Christianity is a spiritual religion, fancy it cannot have 
rites, ceremonies, public worship, a ministry or eccle- 
siastical policy. Not reflecting that without these it could 
never have become national, and consequently could not 
have done that service to the State that it, of all reli- 
gions, is most capable of performing '." And then in a 
note, on occasion of Burnet's statement, that " Sidney's 
notion of Christianity was, that it was like a divine phi- 
losophy in the mind, without public worship or any thing 
that looked like a Church," he adds, "that an ignorant 
monk, who had seen no further than his cell, or a mad 
fanatic, who had thrown aside his reason, should talk thus, 
is nothing ; but that the great Sidney, a man so super- 
latively skilled in the science of human nature and civil 
policy, and who so well knew what religion was capahle of 
doing for the State, should fall into this extravagant error, 
is indeed very surprising." 

Accordingly he mentions some of the details in which 
ecclesiastical ceremonies are serviceable to the State; 
and in quoting his list and reasons of them I shall con- 
clude my extracts from his very instructive volume. 
" There are peculiar junctures," he says, " when the in- 
fluence of religion is more than ordinary serviceable to 
the State, and these the civil magistrate only knows. 
" Ibid. p. 104. 


Now, while a Church is in its natural state of inde- 
pendency, it is not in his power to improve these con- 
junctures to the advantage of the State by a proper ap- 
pHcation of rehgion ; but when the aUiance is made, and 
consequently the Church under his direction, he has the 
authority to presci-ibe such public exercises of religion, 
as days of humiliation, fasts, festivals, exhortations and 
dehortations, thanksgivings and deprecations, and in such 
a manner as he finds the exigencies of State require \" 

And now I think I have shown you, my brethren, as 
far as I could hope to do so in the course of a Lecture, 
that if your first principle be, as it was the first principle of 
the movement of 1833, that the Church should have ab- 
solute power over her faith, worship, and teaching, you 
must not be contemplating an ecclesiastical body, local 
and isolated like the Jewish, or what you have been 
accustomed to call a Branch Church. The fable of the 
bundle of sticks specially applies to those who have no 
weapons of flesh and blood, to an unarmed hierarchy, who 
have to contend with the pride of intellect and the power 
of the sword. Look abroad, my brethren, and see whe- 
ther this union of many members, divided in place and 
circumstances, but one in heart, is not most visibly the 
very strength of the Catholic Church at this very time. 
Then only can you resist the world, if you belong to a 
commimion v^^hich exists under many governments, not 
one ; or, should it ever be under some empire commensu- 
rate with itself, which is not conceivable, has at length 
an immovable centre to fall back upon. But if this be 
so, if you must leave the existing Establishment, yet not 
seek or form a Branch Church instead of it ; I have 
1 Ibid. p. 63. 


brought you by a short, but I hope not an abrupt or un- 
safe path, to the conclusion that you must cease to be 
an AngHcan by becoming a Cathohc. Indeed, if the 
movement, of which you are the children, had any provi- 
dential scope at all, I do not see how you can disguise 
from yourselves that Catholicism is it. The Catholic 
Church, and she alone, is proof against Erastianism. 




It was my object yesterday to show that such persons as 
were led by the principles of the movement of 1833 to 
quit the Establishment, necessarily proceeded, as by one 
and the same act, to join the Catholic Church ; that the 
case was not supposable in reason, of their quitting the 
one without their joining the other ; that certain projects, 
which have been thrown out, of getting orders from 
Greece or America, or of migrating to Scotland, were 
simply unmeaning and inconsistent, if Erastianism was 
the evil to be shunned ; for no communion was secure 
against Erastianism, but the Church founded on Peter. 
I argued out this point at some length ; yet, in doing 
so, I felt I was combating what the common sense of 
men condemned without argument. I really do not 
believe that any one contemplates, in fact, such a plan as 
the erection of a Free Church, as it may be called, in 
England ; and, even if there were individuals who con- 
templated leaving their native country for Scotland or 
America, they never could mean that this is the providen- 



tial course of the movement of 1833; for the expa- 
triation of a large number of persons of both sexes, 
and of all ages, voluntarily, not by persecution, yet for 
conscience-sake, is as irrational as it would be impracti- 
cable. If, then, I have dwelt on the notion, and if I am 
going still to dwell on it, of a termination of the move- 
ment, external to the National Communion, yet not so 
far as the Catholic Church, it is not so much for its own 
sake, as because I hope thereby to realize and bring 
home to you, my brethren, the state of the case, and 
your position ; and because it enables me to suggest 
principles and views which may facilitate to you, that 
resolution of your perplexities which, I am sure, is the 
only consistent one. This must be my apology, as it 
has been already, if any one thinks, that to continue the 
subject is actum agere. 

I am now, then, going to set before you a second view 
of the subject, which will bring us to the same conclusion 
as the argument of yesterday. What is meant by a 
"Church," is a religious body which has jurisdiction over 
its members, or which governs itself; whereas, according 
to the doctrine of Erastus, it has no such jurisdiction, 
really is not a body, but is simply governed by the State, 
and is a department of its operations. Now, what I wish 
to show is, that if you will not accept of the Catholic 
Church, and submit yourselves to her authority, your 
only consistent course is to hecome Erastians at once ; 
that is, to give up the principles on which you set out. 

I would have you recollect, then, that the civil power is 
a divine ordinance ; no one doubts it. It is prior to eccle- 
siastical power. The Jewish lawgivers, judges, prophets, 
kings, had some sort of jurisdiction over the priesthood, 
though the priesthood had its distinct powers and duties. 


The Jewish Church was no body distinct from the State. 
In a certain sense the civil magistrate is what divines 
call, " in possession ;" the onus prohandi lies with those 
who would encroach upon his power. He was in posses- 
sion in the age when Christ came ; he is in possession 
now in the minds of men, and in the prima facie view of 
human society. He is in possession, because the benefits 
he confers on mankind are tangible, and obvious to the 
world at large. And he is recognized and sanctioned in 
Scripture in the most solemn way ; nay the very instru- 
ment of his power, by which he is strong, the carnal 
weapon itself, is formally committed to him. " Let 
every soul," says St. Paul, " be subject to higher 
powers ; for there is no power but from God ; and those 
that are," the powers that be, "are ordained of God. 
Therefore he that resisteth the power, resisteth the ordi- 
nance of God ; and they that resist, purchase to them- 
selves damnation. For princes are not a terror to the 
good work, but to the evil. Wilt thou, then, not be 
afraid of the power 2 Do that which is good, and thou 
shalt have praise from the same. For he is God"'s 
minister to thee for good. But if thou do that which 
is evil, fear ; for he beareth not the sword in vain. For 
he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath upon 
him that doth evil." It is difficult to find a passage in 
Scripture more solemn and distinct than this, — distinct 
in the duty laid down, and the sin of transgressing it, and 
solemn in the reasons on which the duty is enforced. 
The civil magistrate is a minister, or, in a certain sense, a 
priest of the Most High ; for, as is well known, the word 
in the original Greek is one which commonly is appropriated 
to denote the sacerdotal office and function. He is, more- 
over, " an avenger to execute wrath ;" he is the represen- 

p 2 


tative and image on earth of that awful attribute of God, 
His justice, as fathers are types and intimations of His 
tenderness and providence towards His creatures. Nor is 
this a solitary recognition of the divine origin and the 
dignity of the civil power : — when Wisdom, in the book 
of Proverbs, would enlarge upon her great works on the 
earth, she finds one principal and special instance of 
them to consist in her presence and operation in the 
rulers of the people. " By me," she says, " kings reign, 
and lawgivers decree just things : by me princes rule, 
and the mighty decree justice." And let it be observed, 
that the function here ascribed to the civil magistrate, 
and requiring a peculiar gift, is one of those which 
especially enters into the idea of the times of the pro- 
mised Messias. " Behold," says the Prophet, " a king 
shall reign in justice, and princes shall rule in judg- 
ment." " He shall judge the poor with justice, and 
shall reprove with equity for the meek of the earth ; and 
he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and 
with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked. And 
justice shall be the girdle of his loins, and faith the 
girdle of his reins." Such is the civil power, the repre- 
sentative, and oracle, and instrument, of the eternal law 
of God, with the power of life and death, the awful power 
of continuing or cutting short the probation of beings 
destined to live eternally. To it are committed all things 
under heaven ; it is the sovereign lord of the wide earth 
and its various fruits, and of men who till it or traverse 
it ; and it allots, and distributes, and maintains, the one 
for the benefit of the other. And as it is sacred in its 
origin, so may it be considered irresponsible in its acts ; 
and treason against it is, as a general rule, rebellion 
against the Most High. 

LECTURE vir. 169 

Now, such being the office of the temporal power, and 
considering the manifold temporal blessings of which it 
is the source and channel, the cruelty of disturbing the 
settled order of society, and the madness of the attempt, 
surely a man has to think twice, and ought to be quite 
sure what he is doing, and to have a clear case to produce 
in his behalf, before he sets up any rival society to em- 
barrass and endanger it. Pause before you decide on 
such a step, and make sure of your ground. Surely it 
is not likely that God should undo His own work for 
nothing. He does not revoke His ordinances except 
they have failed of their mission. He does not super- 
sede them or innovate on them, except when He is about 
to commence a higher work than He has committed to 
them. Judaism was supplanted by Christianity, because 
its law was unprofitable, and because the Gospel was a 
definite revelation and doctrine from above, which re- 
quired a more perfect organ for its promulgation. A 
new institution was formed, and to it was transferred a 
portion of that authority which hitherto had centered in 
the State, and independence was bestowed on it, but 
surely because it was able to do something which an- 
cient philosophy and statesmanship had not dreamed of. 
Had not the duties of the Church been different, or 
had they been but partially different, from the duties of 
the State, it is obvious to ask, for what conceivable 
reason should two societies be set up to do the work of 
one 1 Is it likely that Almighty Wisdom would have set 
up a second without recalling the first? would have 
continued the commission to the first, yet sent forth a 
second upon the same field ? Such a course would have 
been simply adapted to kindle perpetual strife, and, to 
judge by appearances, to defeat the very purposes for 


which the civil power was appointed, and therefore is, in the 
highest degree improbable, prior to some very clear proof 
to the contrary. This surely approves itself to the com- 
mon sense of mankind. Either no Church has been set 
up in the world, or it is not set up for nothing ; it must 
have a mission, and a message of its own. Every thing 
is defined, or made specific by its object ; if the duties of 
the Church, its functions, its teaching, its working, be 
not specifically distinct from those of the State, why, it 
will be impossible to resist the conclusion that it was 
meant to amalgamate with the State, to join on to it, to 
be a part of it, to be subordinate to it. We do not 
form two guilds for the same trade. Either assign to the 
Church its own craft, or do not ask that it should be 
chartered. Its object is its claim. 

This consideration is a sufficient exposure of the theory 
of alliance between Church and State, of which I was led 
to speak yesterday. Warburton maintains that each 
power, the Church and the State, does substantially just 
one and the same thing ; the Church preaches truth, the 
State pursues expediency ; but Christian truth is 
measured by political expediency. There is no possible 
thesis which a preacher can put forth, or a synod could 
define, but is infallibly determined (" infaUible" is his 
word) by the political expedience and experience of the 
State. But if this be really so, what is the use of this 
second Society, which you put forth as natually inde- 
pendent of the State, and as so high and mighty an ally 
of it ? I do not say that to preach is not a function dif- 
ferent from speaking in Parliament, or reading prayers to 
a congregation from sitting in a police court ; the func- 
tions are different, and the functionaries will be different. 
But in like manner the function of a police magistrate is 


different from the function of a speaker in Parliament ; 
but you do not have a distinct society, divine in its 
origin, independent in its constitution, to exercise juris- 
diction over Parhament or PoHce. I repeat, unless the 
Church has something to say and something to do, very 
different from what the State says and does, Erastianism 
is the doctrine of common sense, and must be veiy clearly 
negatived in Scripture to be discarded. 

I will refer to another author in illustration. There 
was an anonymous work published, apparently in the 
character of a Scotch Episcopalian, some years before 
the movement of 1833; which, on supposed principles of 
Scripture, advocated a Branch or National Church, 
though the author would, I suppose, have preferred the 
words, "free," "independent," or "unestablished." Judg- 
ing from the internal evidence, the world identified him 
with a vigorous and original thinker, whom none could 
approach without being set thinking also, whether with 
him or contrary to him, and who has since risen to the 
very highest rank of the Anglican hierarchy. He wrote, 
partly in answer to Warburton, and partly to exhibit a 
counter-view of his own ; but he is an instance of the 
same unreality and inconsistency which I have just been 
imputing to Warburton himself. 

" The supreme head on earth," he says, " of each 
branch of Christ's Church, should evidently be some 
spiritual officer or body. Whether the governor of the 
English Church were the primate, or the convocation, or 
both conjointly, or any other man or body of men, 
holding ecclesiastical authority, not attached to any civil 
office, nor in the gift of any civil governor, in either case 
the non-secular character of Christ's kingdom would be 


preserved. The king, in conjunction with the other 
branches of the legislature, ought to have a distinctly 
defined temporal authority over every one of his subjects, 
of whatever persuasion ; and, of consequence, over the 
ministers and all other members, both of the Church of 
England and of every other religious community, Chris- 
tian, Jewish, or Pagan, within his dominions ; but neither 
he, nor any other civil power, should interfere with arti- 
cles of faith, liturgy, Church discipline, or any other 
spiritual matters. The kingdom of Heaven has no king 
but Christ ; and He delegated His authority to Apostles, 
and through them to Bishops and Presbyters ; not to any 
secular magistrates. These therefore ought not, by vir- 
tue of their civil offices, to claim the appointment to any 
offices in the Church '." You see, my brethren, what 
clear views this anonymous writer has of the jurisdiction 
of the Church ; they are identical with your own, or 
rather they go beyond you. 

In consequence he speaks of its "degrading" the 
sacred character of Articles and Liturgy, "that they 
should stand upon the foundation of acts of parliament ; 
that the spiritual rulers cannot alter them when they may 
need it ; and that the secular power can, whether they 
need it or not. And accordingly," he continues, " it 
is almost a proverbial reproach, that yours is a ' parlia- 
mentary religion ;' that you worship the Almighty as 
the act directs ; and that you are bound to seek for 
salvation 'according to the law, in that case made 
and provided,' by king, lords, and commons ; under the 
directions of the ministers of State ; of persons," he adds 
with a prophetic eye towards 1850, " who may be emi- 

1 Letters on the Church, p. 181. Longmans, 1826. 


nently well fitted for their civil offices, and who may 
indeed chance to be not only exemplary Christians, but 
sound divines, but who certainly are not appointed to 
their respective offices with any sort of view to their 
spiritual functions, who cannot even pretend that any 
sort of qualification for the good regulation of the Church 
is implied by their holding such stations as they do. 
Can this possibly be agreeable to the designs and institu- 
tions of Christ and His Apostles? If any one will 
seriously answer in the affirmative, he is beyond my 
powers of argumentation ^'" 

Presently he observes, " The English Government 
seems to have a delight and a pride, in not only making 
the Clergy do as much as possible in return for the 
protection they enjoy, but in enforcing their services 
in the most harsh and mortifying way. Like the ancient 
Persian soldiers, they are brought into the field under 
the lash of perpetual penalties, which serve to keep 
your ministers in a state of degradation as well as 
of dependence on the State, which I defy you to paral- 
lel in any other Christian Church that ever existed ^.''"' 
He then compares certain of the clergy to the dog in 
the fable, who mistook the clog round his neck for a badge 
of honourable distinction. He continues, " Altogether in- 
deed, I cannot but say, if I must speak out, there is another 
fable respecting a dog, of which the condition of your 
Church strongly reminds me. Your American brethren, 
for instance, and some others, might say to you, as the 
lean and hungry wolf did to the well-fed mastiff", ' You 
are fat and sleek indeed, while I am gaunt and half- 
famished, but what means that mark round your neck V 

»p. 119. 3 p, 126. 


You must do this, under a penalty ; and you must not do 
that, under a penalty ; you must comply with the rubric, 
and yet, at the same time, you must not comply with the 
rubric. ... In short, you are fettered and crippled and 
disabled in every joint, by your alliance with a body of a 
different character, which could not, even with the best 
intentions, fail to weaken instead of aiding you ; but 
which, in fact, aims chiefly at making a tool of you. 
But some of you seem so habituated to this dependence 
of the Church on the State, and so fond of it, as to have 
even solicited interference in a case which could not con- 
cern the civil community, and which the secular magistrate 
was likely to care about as little as Gallio. An English 
bishop did not dare to ordain an American to officiate in 
a country not under British dominion, without asking 
and obtaining permission of his government, which had 
just as much to do with the business as the government 
of Abyssinia*." 

Now, all this is very ably put, and very true ; but the 
question comes upon the reader. What is the meaning and 
object of the sweeping ecclesiastical changes which are 
advocated by this author ? We must not take to pieces 
the constitution and re-write the law for nothing. What 
would be gained by his recommendations practically ? 
And what are they intended to accomplish or secure I Is 
it a gymnastical display or " agonism," as the heathen au- 
thor calls it, from the academy or the garden, or a clever 
piece of irony which he presents to our perusal, or is it the 
grave and earnest sermon of one who would practise what 
he preaches, and would not partake in what he condemns ? 
Now I will do the writer the justice to confess, that he does 

* P- 129. 


not agree with Warburton in considering that truth is 
measured by pohtical expediency. He is too honest, too 
generous, too high-minded, too sensible, for so miserable 
a paradox; but, considering the far higher views he 
takes of the position of the Church, how he frets under 
her humiliation, how nobly zealous he is for her liberty, 
certainly he will be guilty of a different indeed, but a not 
less startling paradox himself, if he has such exalted 
notions of the Church, and yet gives her nothing to do. 
Warburton recognizes the Church in order to destroy it ; 
he thinks it never has existed, or rather never ought to 
have existed in its proper nature, but, from its first 
moment of creation, ought to have been dissolved into 
the constitution of the State. But our author makes 
much ado about ecclesiastical rights and privileges, 
which he considers divinely bestowed, and, therefore, in- 
defeasible. He thinks the Church so pure and celestial, 
as to be insulted, defiled, by any communion with things 
simply secular. " My kingdom is not of this world," 
said our Lord, and, therefore, it seems, no Ecclesiastical 
person must, as such, have a seat in Parliament, and, on 
the other hand, neither king nor Parliament, as such, 
must be able to appoint a fast day. " It was,"" he says, 
" Satan who first proposed an alliance between the 
Christian Church and the State, by offering temporal 
advantages in exchange for giving up some of the ' things 
that be God's,' and which we ought to ' render unto 
God,' for not ' serving Him only,' whom only we ought 
to serve. The next, I am inclined to think, who pro- 
posed to himself this scheme, and endeavoured to bring 
it about was Judas Iscariot '." 

p. 97. 



Well, then, if the Church be a kingdom, or govern- 
ment, not of this world, I do trust you have provided for 
her a message, a function, not of this world, something 
distinct, something special, something which the world 
cannot do, which " eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor 
heart of man conceived."" It is not enough to give her 
morality to preach about ; why a heaven-appointed so- 
ciety for that ? With the Bible in his hands, if that be 
all, I do not see why one man, if properly educated, 
should not preach as well as another, without any dis- 
turbance of the rights of the magistrate or the order of 
civil society. It is sometimes said in bitterness that the 
Church's work is priestcraft ; I have already accepted 
the word ; it is a craft ; a craft in the same sense that 
goldsmiths' work, or architecture, or legal science is a 
craft ; it must have its teaching, its intellectual and moral 
habits, its long experience, its precedents, its traditions ; 
nay, it must have all these in a much higher sense than 
crafts of this world, if it is to claim to come from above. 
The more certainly the Church is a kingdom of heaven, 
and, as the author is so fond of saying, "not of this 
world," the more certain is it that she must have simply a 
heavenly work also, which the world cannot do for itself. 

Now, I fear I must say, I see no symptoms at all of 
the writer in question intending to make his pattern- 
Church answer to this most reasonable expectation. 
There is nothing in his book to show that he entrusts 
his Church with any special doctrine or work of any kind. 
Whatever he may say, there is nothing to show why a law- 
yer not in full business, or a physician, or a scientific pro- 
fessor, or a country gentleman, or any one who had his 
evenings to himself, and was of an active turn, should 
not do every thing which he ascribes to his heaven-born 

LECTURE vrr. 177 

society. If, for instance, religion had its mysteries, if it 
had its fertile dogmas and their varied ramifications, if 
it had its theology, if it had its long line of momentous 
controversies, careful ventilation of questions, and satis- 
factory and definitive solutions ; if, moreover, it had its 
special work, its substantial presence in the midst of us, 
its daily gifts from heaven, and its necessary ministries 
thence arising, then we should see the meaning, we should 
adore the wisdom, of the Divine Governor of all, in having 
done a new thing upon the earth when Christ came, in 
having limited the jurisdiction He had given to the State, 
and bestowed it on a special ordinance created for a 
special purpose. But in proportion as this author comes 
short of this just anticipation, and disappoints the common 
sense of mankind, if he has nothing better to tell us than 
that one man"'s opinion is as good as another's ; that 
Fathers and Schoolmen, and the greater number of 
Anglican divines, are puzzle-headed or dishonest ; that 
heretics have at least this good about them, that they 
are in earnest, and do not take doctrines for granted ; 
that religion is simple, and theologians have made it 
hard ; that controversy is on the whole a logomachy ; 
that we must worship in spirit and in truth; that we 
ought to love truth ; that few people love truth for its 
own sake ; that we ought to be candid and dispassionate ; 
to avoid extremes ; to eschew party spirit ; to take a 
rational satisfaction in contemplating the works of nature ; 
and not to speculate about things unseen ; that our Lord 
came to teach us all this, and to gain us immortality by 
His death, and the promise of spiritual assistance, and 
that this is pretty nearly the whole of theology ; and 
that at least all is in the Bible, which every one may 
read for himself (and I see no evidence whatever of his 


going much beyond this round of teaching) ; then, 
I say, if the work and mission of Christianity be so 
level in its exercise to the capacities of the State, surely 
its ministry also is within the State''s jurisdiction. 
I cannot believe that Bishops, and clergymen, and 
councils, and convocations have been divinely sent into 
the world, to broach opinions, to discuss theories, to talk 
literature, to display the results of their own speculations 
on the text of Scripture, to create a brilliant, ephemeral, 
ever-varying theology, to say in one generation what the 
next will unsay ; else, why were not our debating clubs 
and our scientific societies ennobled with a divine charter 
also ? God surely did not create the visible Church for the 
protection of private judgment : private judgment is 
quite able to take care of itself. This is no day for what 
are popularly called " shams." Many as are its errors, 
it is aiming at the destruction of shadows and the attain- 
ment of what is either sensibly or intellectually tangible. 
Why, then, should we have so much bustle and turmoil 
about " supremacy," and " protection," and " alliance," 
and " authority," and " indefeasible rights," and " en- 
croachments," and " usurpations," after the manner of 
this writer, if the effort and elaboration are to be in their 
result but a mountain in labour, bringing forth nothing ? 
The State claims the allegiance of its subjects on the 
ground of the tangible benefits of which it is the instru- 
ment towards them. Its strength lies in this undeniable 
fact, and they endure and they maintain its coercion and 
its laws, because the certainty of this fact is ever present 
to their minds. What mean the array and the pomp 
which surround the Sovereign? The strict ceremonial, 
the minute etiquette, the almost unsleeping watchfulness 
which eyes her every motion, which follows her into her 


garden and her chamber, which notes down every shade 
of her countenance and every variation of her pulse ? 
Why do her soldiers hover about her, and officials line 
her ante-rooms, and cannon and illumination carry for- 
ward the tiding of her progresses among her people? 
Is this all a mockery ? Is it done for nothing ? Surely 
not ; in her is centered the order, the security, the hap- 
piness of a great people. And, in like manner, the 
Church must be the guardian of a fact ; she must have 
something to produce ; she must have something to do. 
It is not enough to be keeper of even an inspired book : 
for there is nothing to show that her protection of it is 
necessary at this day. The State might fairly commit 
its custody to the art of printing, and dissolve an insti- 
tution whose occupation was no more. She must do 
that, in order to have a meaning, which otherwise cannot 
be done ; which she alone can do. She must have a 
benefit to bestow, in order to be worth her existence ; 
and the benefit must be a fact which no one can doubt 
about. It must not be an opinion, or matter of opinion, 
but a something which is like a first principle, which may 
be taken for granted, a foundation indubitable and irre- 
sistible. In other words, she must have a dogma and 
Sacraments ; it is a dogma and Sacraments, and nothing 
else, which can give meaning to a Church, or sustain her 
against the State ; for by these are meant certain facts or 
acts which are special instruments of spiritual good to those 
who receive them. As we do not gain the benefits of civil 
society unless we submit to its laws and customs, so we 
do not gain the spiritual blessings which the Church has 
to bestow upon us, unless we receive Her dogmas and 
Her Sacraments. 

This, you know, is understood by every fanatic who 


would collect followers and form a sect. Who would 
ever dream of collecting a congregation and having 
nothing to say to them ? No ; they think they have that 
to offer to the world which cannot otherwise be obtained. 
They do not bring forward mere opinions ; they do not 
preach a disputable doctrine ; but they assert, boldly and 
simply, that he who believes them will be saved. They 
announce, for instance, that every one must undergo the 
new birth, and for this they organize their society ; viz., in 
order to preach and to testify, to realize and to perpetuate 
in the world this great and necessary fact, the new birth 
of the soul. Or, again, they have a commission to do 
miracles, or they can prophesy, or they are sent to 
declare the end of the world. Something or other they 
do, which the existing establishments of Church and 
State do not, and cannot do. 

This being the state of the case, consider how entirely 
the reasonable anticipation of our minds is fulfilled in the 
professions of the Catholic Church. A Protestant wan- 
ders into one of our chapels ; he sees a priest kneel- 
ing, and bowing, and throwing up a thurible, and boys in 
cottas going in and out, and a whole choir and people 
singing amain all the time, and he has nothing to suggest 
to him what it is all about ; and he calls it mummery, and 
he walks out again. And would it not, indeed, be so, 
my brethren, if this were all? But will he think it 
mummery when he learns and seriously apprehends the 
fact, that, according to the belief of a Catholic, the 
Immaculate Lamb, the Second Person of the Eternal 
Trinity, is there bodily present, — hidden, indeed, from our 
senses, but in no other way withheld from us 1 He may 
reject what we believe ; he will not wonder at what we do. 
And so again open the Missal, read the minute directions 


as to the celebration of Mass ; what is the fit disposi- 
tion under which the Priest prepares for it, how he is to 
arrange his every action, movement, gesture, accent, 
during the course of it, and what is to be done in case 
of a variety of supposable accidents. What a mockery 
would all this be, if the rite meant nothing ! But if it 
be a fact that God the Son is there offered up in human 
flesh and blood by the hands of man, why it is plain that 
no anxious and elaborate rite is equal to the depth of the 
overwhelming thoughts which are borne in upon the 
mind. Thus the usages and ordinances of the Church do 
not exist for their own sake ; they do not stand of them- 
selves ; they are not sufficient for themselves ; they do 
not fight against the State their own battle ; they are 
not appointed as ultimate ends ; but they are dependent 
on an inward substance ; they protect a mystery ; they 
defend a dogma ; they represent an idea ; they preach 
good tidings ; they are the channels of grace. They are 
the outward shape of an inward reality or fact, which no 
Catholic doubts, which is assumed as a first principle, which 
is not an inference of reason, but the object of a spiritual 
sense. Herein is the strength of the Church ; herein 
she differs from all Protestant mockeries of her. She 
professes to be built upon facts, not opinions ; on ob- 
jective truths, not on variable sentiments ; on immemo- 
rial testimony, not on private judgment ; on convictions or 
discernments, not on conclusions. None else but she 
can make this profession. She makes high claims against 
the temporal power, but she has that within her which jus- 
tifies them. She merely acts out what she says she is. She 
does no more than she reasonably should do. If God has 
given her a work of her own, no wonder she is not under the 
civil magistrate in matters of revelation. If her Clergy be 
0. 2 


Priests, if they can forgive sins, and bring the Son of God 
upon her altars, it is obvious they cannot hold of the 
State. If they were not, the sooner they were put 
under a minister of public instruction and the Episcopate 
abolished, the better. She has not disturbed the world 
for nothing. Her precision and peremptoriness, all 
that is laid to her charge as intolerance and exclusive- 
ness, her claim entirely to understand and to be able 
to deal with her own deposit and her own functions ; her 
claim to reveal the unknown and to communicate the 
invisible, is, in the eye of reason, (so far from being 
an objection to her coming from above,) the very tenure 
of her high mission, just what she would be sure to 
assert, if she did. She cannot be conceived without her 
message and her gifts. She is the organ and oracle, and 
nothing else, of a supernatural doctrine, which is inde- 
pendent of individuals, given once for all, coming down 
from the first ages, and so deeply and intimately em- 
bosomed in her, that it cannot be clean torn out of her, 
even if you would try ; but gradually and majestically 
comes forth into dogmatic shape, as time goes on, and 
need requires, still by no private judgment, but at the will 
of its Giver, and by the infallible elaboration of the whole 
body ; and which is simply necessary for the salvation of 
the soul. It is not a philosophy, or literature, cognizable 
and attainable at once by those who cast their eyes that 
way ; but it is a sacred deposit and tradition, a mystery 
or secret, as Scripture calls it, sufficient to arrest and 
occupy the whole intellect, and unlike any thing else; 
and hence requiring, from the nature of the case, organs 
special to itself, made for the purpose, whether for enter- 
ing into its fulness, or carrying it out in deed. 

And now, my brethren, you may have been some time 


asking yourselves, how all this bears upon the particular 
subject, on which these Lectures are engaged ; and yet I 
think it bears upon it very closely and significantly. 
You may have said, in answer to my Lecture of yester- 
day : — " We do not aim at forming a Branch Church ; 
we put before us a really humble work. We have no 
ambition, no expectation, of spreading through the nation, 
or of spreading at all. We do but mean to preserve for 
future times what we hold to be the truth. As books are 
consigned to some large library, with a single view to their 
security, not let out to the world, and apparently useless, 
but yet with a definite object and benefit, — ' though for 
no other cause, yet for this,' as Hooker says, ' that 
posterity may know we have not loosely through silence 
permitted things to pass away as in a dream,'' — so, we 
care not to be successful in our day ; we are willing to be 
despised ; we do but aim at transmitting Catholic doctrine 
in its purest and most primitive form to posterity. We are 
willing to look like a small sect at the gate of the National 
Church, when really we are the heirs of the Apostles. 
We do not boast of this ; we do not wish to inflict it 
upon the world ; leave us to ourselves quietly and un- 
ostentatiously to transmit our burden to posterity in our 
own way." 

I say in reply, my brethren, that so far you are right, 
that you profess to have something to transmit ; but be 
sure you have it, and know what it is. It will not do to 
have only a vague idea of it, if it is to form the basis of 
a sect ; you must be at home with it, and must have sur- 
veyed it in its various aspects, and must be clear about it, 
and be prepared to state decisively to all inquirers its 
ground, its details, and its consequences, and must be able 
to say, unequivocally, that it comes from heaven ; — or it 


will not serve your purpose. I am not sanguine that you 
will be able to do this even as regards the Sacrament of 
Baptism ; differences have already arisen among you as 
to the relative importance, at least under circumstances, 
of separate parts of the doctrine ; and, when you come 
to define the consequences of sin after it, and the reme- 
dies, your variations and uncertainties will be greater 
still. And much more of other doctrines ; there is hardly 
one, of which you will be able to take a clear and complete 
view. I say, then, Do not set up a sect, till you are quite 
sure what it will have to teach. 

In the commencement of the movement of 1833, much 
interest was felt in the Non-jurors. It was natural, that 
inquirers who had drawn their principles from the Primi- 
tive Church, should be attracted by the exhibition of any 
portion of those principles any where in, or about, an 
Establishment which was so emphatically opposed to 
them. Therefore, in their need, they fixed their eyes on 
a body of men who were not only sufferers for conscience 
sake, but held, in connexion with their political principles, 
a certain portion of Cathohc truth. But, after all, what 
is, in a word, the history of the Non-jurors, for it does 
not take long to tell it 1 A party, composed of seven 
Bishops and some hundred Clergy, virtuous and learned, 
and, as regards their leaders, even popular, for political 
services lately rendered to the nation, is hardly formed 
but it begins to dissolve and come to nought, and that, 
simply because it had no sufficient object, represented no 
idea, and proclaimed no dogma. What should keep it 
together ? why should it exist ? To form an association 
is to go out of the way, and ever requires an excuse 
or an account of the proceeding. Such were the ancient 
apologies put forward for the Church in her first age ; 


such the apologies of the AngHcan Jewell, and the Quaker 
Barclay. What was the apology of the Non-jurors ? Now 
their secession, properly speaking, was based on no theolo- 
gical truth at all ; it arose simply because, as their name 
signifies, certain Bishops and Clergy could not take the 
oaths to a new King. There is something very venerable 
and winning in Bishop Ken ; but this arises in part 
from the very fact that he was so little disposed to defend 
any position, or oppose things as they were. He could 
not take the oaths, and was dispossessed ; but he had 
nothing special to say for himself; he had no message to 
deliver ; and he was unwilling that the Non-juring Suc- 
cession should be continued. It was against his judg- 
ment to perpetuate his own communion. But look at 
the body in its more theological aspect, and its negative 
and external character is brought out even more strikingly. 
Its members had much more to say against the Catholic 
Church, like Protestants in general, than for themselves. 
They are considered especially high in their doctrine of 
the Holy Eucharist ; yet I do not know any thing in Dr. 
Brett's whole Treatise on the Ancient Liturgies, which 
fixes itself so vividly on the reader's mind, as his assertion, 
that the rubrics of the Roman Missal are " corrupt, dan- 
gerous, supei-stitious, abominably idolatrous, theatrical, 
and utterly unworthy the gravity of so sacred an institu- 
tion." The Non-jurors were far less certain what they 
did hold, than what they did not. They were great 
champions of the Sacrifice, and wished to restore the 
ancient Liturgies ; yet they could not raise their minds 
to any thing higher than the sacrifice of the matei'ial 
bread and wine, as representatives of One, who was not 
literally present but absent, as symbols of His Body and 
Blood, not in truth and fact, but in power and effect. 


Yet, while they had such insufficient notions of the 
heavenly gift committed to the ordinance, they could, as 
I have said, be very jealous of its outward formalities, 
and laid the greatest stress on a point, important cer- 
tainly in its place, but not when separated from that 
which gave it meaning and life, the mixing of the water 
with the wine ; and upon this, and other questions, of 
higher moment indeed, but not of a character specifically 
different, they soon divided into two communions. They 
broke into pieces, not from external causes, not from the 
hostility or the allurements of a court, but simply because 
they had no common heart and life in them. They were 
safe from the civil sword, from their insignificancy ; they 
had no need of falling back on a distant centre, had they 
been united to one; all they needed was an idea, an 
object, a work, to make them one. 

But I have another remark to make on the Non -jurors. 
You recollect, my brethren, that they are the continuation 
and heirs of the traditions, so to call them, of the High- 
Church divines of the seventeenth century. Now, how 
high and imposing do the names sound of Andrewes, 
Laud, Taylor, Jackson, Pearson, Oosin, and their fel- 
lows ! — I am not speaking against them as individuals, 
but viewing them as theological authorities. — How great 
and mysterious are the doctrines which they teach ! and 
how proudly they appeal to primitive times, and claim the 
ancient Fathers ! Surely, as some one says, " in Laud 
is our Cyprian, and in Taylor is our Chrysostom, and all 
we want is our Athanasius." Look, my brethren, at the 
history of the Non-jurors, and you will see what these 
divines were worth. There you will see that it was 
simply their position, their temporal possessions, their 
civil dignities, as standing round a King's throne, or 


seated in his great council, and not their principles, 
which made them what they were. Their genius, learn- 
ing, faith, whatever it was, could not have stood by 
themselves ; these qualities had no substance, for, when 
the State abandoned them, they shrank at once, and 
collapsed, and ceased to be. These qualities were not the 
stuff out of which a Church is made, though they looked 
well and bravely upon the EstabHshment. Yet, I say, 
they did not, in the event, wear better in the Establish- 
ment than out of it ; for, since, at the Kevolution, the 
Establishment had changed its make and altered its posi- 
tion, the old vestments would not fit it, and fell out of 
fashion. The Nation and the National Church had got 
new ideas, and the language of the ancient Fathers could 
not express them. There were those, who, at the era in 
question, took the oaths ; they could secure their posi- 
tions, could they secure their creed ? The event answers 
the question. There is some story of Bull and Beveridge, 
who were two of the number, meeting together, I think 
in the House of Lords, and moui'ning together over the 
degeneracy of the times. The times certainly were de- 
generate ; and if learning could have restored them, 
there was enough in those two intellects and memories 
to have done the work of Athanasius, Leo, and the 
seventh Gregory ; but learning never made a body live. 
The High Church party died out within the Establish- 
ment, as well as out of it, for it had neither dogma to 
rest upon, nor object to pursue. 

All this is your warning, my brethren ; you too, when it 
comes to the point, will have nothing to profess, to teach, 
to transmit. At present you do not know your own 
weakness. You have the life of the Establishment in 
you, and you fancy it is your own life ; you fancy that 


the accidental congeries of opinions, which forms your 
creed, has that unity, individuality, and consistency, 
which allows of its developing into a system, and per- 
petuating a school. Look into the matter more steadily ; 
it is very pleasant to decorate your chapels, oratories, and 
studies now ; but you cannot be doing this for ever. It is 
pleasant to adopt a habit or a vestment; to use your 
office book or your beads ; but it is like feeding on flowers, 
unless you have that objective vision in your faith, and that 
satisfaction in your reason, of which devotional exercises 
and ecclesiastical appointments are the suitable expression. 
They will not last on the long run, unless commanded and 
rewarded on divine authority ; they cannot be made to rest 
on the influence of individuals. It is well to have rich 
architecture, curious works of art, and splendid vest- 
ments, when you have a present God ; but ! what a 
mockery, if you have not ! If your externals surpass 
what is within, you are, so far, as hollow as your evan- 
gelical opponents who baptize, yet expect no grace ; or, 
as the latitudinarian writer, I have been reviewing, who 
would make Christ's kingdom not of this world, in order 
to do little more than a worldly work. Thus your 
Church becomes, not a home, but a sepulchre ; like those 
high cathedrals, once Catholic, which you do not know 
what to do with, which you shut up, and make monu- 
ments of, sacred to the memory of what has passed 

Therefore I say now, as I have said years ago, when 
others have wished to uphold their party, when their 
arguments had broken under them, — Find out first of all 
where you stand, take your position, write down your 
creed, draw up your catechism. Tell me why you form 
your party, under what conditions, how long it is to last, 


what are your relations to the Establishment, and to the 
other branches (as you speak) of the Universal Church, 
how you stand relatively to antiquity, what is antiquity, 
whether you accept the via media, whether you are zealous 
for " Apostolical order," what is your rule of faith, how do 
you prove it, and what are your doctrines. It is easy for a 
while, to be doing merely what you do at present; to remain 
where you are, till it is proved to you that you must go ; 
to refuse to say what you hold and what you do not, and 
to act only on the offensive ; but you cannot do this for 
ever. The time is coming, or is come, when you must 
act in some way or other for yourselves, unless you would 
drift to some form of infidelity, or give up principle 
altogether, or believe or not believe by accident. The 
onm prohandi will be on your side then. Now you are 
content to be negative and fragmentary in doctrine ; you 
aim at nothing higher than smart articles in newspapers 
and magazines, at clever hits, spirited attacks, raillery, 
satire, skirmishing on posts of your own selecting, 
fastening on weak points, or what you think so, in Dis- 
senters or Catholics ; inventing ingenious retorts, evading 
dangerous questions ; parading this or that isolated doc- 
trine as essential, and praising this or that Catholic 
practice or Catholic saint, to make up for abuse, and to 
show your impartiality ; and taking all along a high, 
eclectic, patronizing, indifferent tone ; this has been for 
some time past your line, and it will not suffice ; it 
excites no respect, it creates no confidence, it inspires 
no hope. 

And when, at length, you have one and all agreed 
upon your creed, and developed it doctrinally, morally, 
and polemically, then find for it some safe foundation, 
deeper and firmer than private judgment, which may 

190 LECTURE vir. 

ensure its transmission and continuance to generations 
to come. And, when you have done all this, then, last 
of all, persuade others and yourselves, that the founda- 
tion you have formed is surer and more trustworthy than 
Erastianism on the one hand, and of immemorial and 
uninterrupted tradition on the other. 



I HAVE been engaged in many Lectures in showing that 
your place, my brethren, if you own the principles of the 
movement of 1833, is no where else but the Catholic 
Church. To this you may answer, that, even though I 
had been unanswerable, I had not done much, for my 
argument has, on the whole, been a negative one ; that 
there are difficulties on both sides of the controversy ; 
that I have been enlarging on the Protestant diffi- 
culty, but there are not a few Catholic difficulties also ; 
that, to be sure, you are not very happy in the Esta- 
blishment, but you have serious misgivings whether you 
would be happier with us. Moreover, you might men- 
tion the following objection, in particular, as prominent 
and very practical, which weighs with you a great deal, 
and warns you off the ground whither I am trying to 
lead you. You are much offended, you say, with the 
bad state of Catholics abroad, and their uninteresting 
character every where, compared with Protestants. 


Those countries, you say, which have retained Catho- 
licism, are notoriously behind the age ; — tliey have not 
kept up with the inarch of civilization ; they are ignorant, 
and, in a measure, barbarous; they have the faults of 
barbarians ; they have no self-command ; they cannot be 
trusted. They must be treated as slaves, or they rebel ; 
they emerge out of their superstitions in order to turn 
infidels. They cannot combine and coalesce in social 
institutions; they want the very faculty of citizenship. 
The sword, not the law, is their ruler. They are 
spectacles of idleness, slovenliness, want of spirit, dis- 
order, dirt, and dishonesty. There must then be some- 
thing in their religion to account for this ; it keeps them 
children, and then, being children, they keep to it. No 
man in his senses, certainly no English gentleman, would 
abandon the high station which his country both occupies 
and bestows on him, in the eyes of man, to make himself 
the co-religionist of such slaves, and the creature of such 
a Creed. 

I propose to make a suggestion in answer to this ob- 
jection ; and, in making it, I shall consider you, my 
brethren, not infidels, who are careless whether this objec- 
tion strikes at Christianity or no ; nor Protestants proper, 
who have no concern, so to express themselves, as not to 
compromise the first centuries of the Church ; but as 
those who feel that the Catholic Church is from God ; 
that the Establishment is not the Catholic Church ; that 
nothing but the Church of Rome can be ; for this is 
what I have been proving in my preceding Lectures. 
What, then, you are saying comes, in fact, to this : We 
would rather deny our principles, than accept such a 
development of them ; we would rather believe Eras- 
tianism, and all its train of consequences, to be from God. 


than the rehgion of such countries as France, Spain, and 
Italy. This is what you must mean to say, and nothing 
short of it. 

I simply deny the justice of your argument, my 
brethren ; and, to show you that I am not framing a 
view for the occasion, and, moreover, in order to start 
with a principle, which, perhaps, you yourselves have 
before now admitted, I will quote words which I used 
myself twelve years ago : — " If we were asked what was 
the object of Christian preaching, teaching, and instruc- 
tion ; what the office of the Church, considered as the 
dispenser of the word of God, I suppose we should not 
all return the same answer. Perhaps we might say that 
the object of Eevelation was to enlighten and enlarge the 
mind, to make us act by reason, and to expand and 
strengthen our powers : or to impart knowledge about 
religious truth, knowledge being power directly it is 
given, and enabling us forthwith to think, judge, and act 
for ourselves ; or to make us good members of the com- 
munity, loyal subjects, orderly and useful in our station, 
whatever it be ; or to secure, what otherwise would be 
hopeless, our leading a religious life; the reason why 
persons go wrong, throw themselves away, follow bad 
courses, and lose their character, being, that they have 
had no education, that they are ignorant. These and 
other answers might be given ; some beside, and some 
short of the mark. It may be useful, then, to consider 
with what end, with what expectation, we preach, teach, 
instruct, discuss, bear witness, praise, and blame ; what 
fruit the Church is right in anticipating as the result of 
her ministerial labours. St. Paul gives us a reason .... 
different from any of those which I have mentioned. 
He labours more than all the Apostles. And why ? Not 

s 2 


to civilize the world, not to smoothe the face of society, 
not to facilitate the movements of civil government, not 
to spread abroad knowledge, not to cultivate the reason, 
not for any great worldly object, but " for the elect's 
sake.". . . . And such is the office of the Church in every 
nation where she sojourns ; she attempts much ; she 
expects and promises little ^^ 

I do not, of course, deny that the Church does a great 
deal more than she promises ; she fulfils a number of 
secondary ends, and is the means of numberless temporal 
blessings to any country which receives her. I only say, 
she is not to be estimated and measured by such effects ; 
and if you think she is, my brethren, then I must rank 
you with such Erastians as Warburton, who, as I have 
shown you in a former Lecture, considered political 
convenience to be the test and standard of truth. 

I have now begun with a consideration which I fully 
recognized before I was a Catholic ; and now I proceed 
to another, which has been forced on me, as a matter of 
fact and experience, most powerfully ever since, as it 
must be forced on every Catholic ; and therefore, like 
the former, has not at all originated in the need, or is put 
forth for the occasion, to meet a difficulty. 

The Church, you know, is in warfare ; her life here 
below is one long battle. But with whom is she fighting ? 
For till we know her enemy we shall not be able to 
estimate the skill of her tactics, the object of her evolu- 
tions, or the success of her movements. We shall be 
like civilians, contemplating a field of battle, and seeing 
much dust, and smoke, and motion, much defiling, 
charging, and manoeuvring, but quite at a loss to tell 
the meaning of it all, or which party is getting the 
* Paroch. Semi. toI. iv. 


better. And, if we actually mistake the foe, we 
should criticise when we should praise, and think that 
all is a defeat, when every blow is telling. In all 
undertakings we must ascertain the end proposed, 
before we can predicate their success or failure ; and, 
therefore, before we so freely speak against the state of 
Catholic countries, and reflect upon the Church herself 
in consequence, we must have a clear view what it was 
the Church has proposed to do with them and for them. 
We have, indeed, a right to blame and dissent from the 
end which she sets before her ; we may quarrel with the 
mission she professes to have received from above ; we 
may dispense with Scripture, Fathers, and the continuous 
tradition of 1800 years. That is another matter; then, 
at least, we have nothing to do with the theological move- 
ment which has given occasion to these Lectures ; then we 
are not in the way to join the Catholic Church ; we must 
be met on our own ground : but I am speaking to those 
who go a great way with me ; who admit my principles, 
who almost admit my conclusion ; who are all but ready 
to submit to the Church, but who are frightened by the 
present state of Catholic countries; — to such I say. 
Judge of her fruit by her principles and her object, which 
you yourselves also admit ; not by those of her enemies, 
which you renounce. 

The world believes in the world's ends as the greatest 
of goods ; it wishes society to be governed simply and 
entirely for the sake of this world. Provided it could 
gain one little islet in the main, one foot upon the coast, 
if it could cheapen tea by sixpence a pound, or make its 
flag respected among the Esquimaux or Otaheitans, at 
the cost of a hundred lives and a hundred souls, it would 
think it a very good bargain. What does it know of 


hell ? it disbelieves it ; it spits upon, it abominates, it 
curses, its very name and notion. Next, as to the devil, 
it does not believe in him either. We next come to the 
flesh, and it is free to confess that it does not think there 
is any great harm in following the instincts of that 
nature which, perhaps it goes on to say, God has given. 
How could it be otherwise ? who ever heard of the 
world fighting with the flesh and the devil? Well, then, 
what is its notion of evil ? Evil, says the world, is what- 
ever is an offence to me, whatever obscures my majesty, 
whatever disturbs my peace. Order, peace, tranquillity, 
popular contentment, plenty, prosperity, advance in 
arts and sciences, literature, refinement, splendour, this 
is my millennium, or rather my elysiura, my swerga ; 
I acknowledge no whole, no individuality, but my own ; 
the units which compose me are but parts of me ; they 
have no perfection in themselves, no end but in me ; 
in my glory is their bliss, and in the hidings of my coun- 
tenance they come to nought. 

Such is the philosophy and practice of the world ; — 
now the Church looks and moves in a simply opposite 
direction. It contemplates, not the whole, but the 
parts ; not a nation, but the men who form it ; not 
society in the first place, but in the second place, and in 
the first place individuals ; it looks, beyond the outward 
act, on and into the thought, the motive, the intention, 
and the will ; it looks beyond the world, and detects and 
moves against the devil, who is sitting in ambush behind 
it. It has, then, a foe in view, nay, it has a battle field, 
to which the world is blind ; its proper battle field is the 
heart of the individual, and its true foe is Satan. 

My dear brethren, do not think I am declaiming, or 
translating the pages of some primitive homily; — as I 

LECTURE viir. 197 

have already said, T bear my own testimony to what has 
been brought home to me so closely and vividly since 
I have been a Catholic ; viz., that that mighty world- 
wide Church, like her Divine Author, regards, consults, 
labours for the individual soul ; she looks at the souls for 
whom Christ died, and who are made over to her, and 
her one object, for which every thing is sacrificed, — ap- 
pearances, reputation, worldly triumph, — is to acquit 
herself well of this most awful responsibility. Her one 
duty is to bring forward the elect to salvation ; — to take 
offences out of their path, to warn them of sin, to rescue 
them from evil, to convert them, to teach them, to feed 
them, to protect them, and to perfect them. O most 
tender loving Mother, ill-judged by the world, which 
thinks she is, like itself, always minding the main chance ; 
on the contrary, it is her keen view of things spiritual, 
and her love for the soul, which hampers her in her nego- 
tiations and her measures, on this hard cold earth, which 
is her place of sojourning ! How easy would her course 
be, at least for a while, could she give up this or that 
point of faith, or connive at some innovation or irregu- 
larity in the administration of the Sacraments ! How 
much would Gregory have gained from Russia, could he 
have abandoned the United Greeks ! how secure had 
Pius been upon his throne, could he have allowed himself 
to fire on his people ! 

No, my dear brethren, it is this supernatural sight and 
supernatural aim, which is folly and feebleness in the 
eyes of the world, and would be failure, but for the Pro- 
vidence of God. The Church overlooks every thing in 
comparison of the immortal soul. Good and evil to her 
are not lights and shades passing over the surface of 
society, but living powers, springing from the depths of 


the heart. Actions are not mere outward deeds and 
words, committed by hand or tongue, and manifested in 
effects over a range of influence wider or narrower, as 
the case may be ; but they are the thoughts, the desires, 
the purposes, of the soHtary spirit. She knows nothing 
of space or time, except as secondary to will ; she knows 
no evil but sin, and sin is a something personal, conscious, 
voluntary ; she knows no good but grace, and grace again 
is something personal, private, special, lodged in the soul 
of the individual. She has one and one only aim, — to 
purify the heart ; she recollects who it is who has 
turned our thoughts from the external crime to the 
inward imagination ; who said, that "unless our justice 
abounded more than that of Scribes and Pharisees, we 
should not enter into the kingdom of Heaven ;" and that 
" out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adul- 
teries, fornications, thefts, false testimonies, blasphemies. 
These are the things that defile a man." 

Now I would have you take up the sermons of any 
preacher, or any writer on moral theology, who has a 
name among Catholics, and see if what I have said is not 
strictly fulfilled, however little you fancy so before you 
make trial. Protestants, I say, think that the Church 
aims at appearance and effect; she must be splendid, 
and majestic, and influential ; fine services, music, lights, 
vestments, and then again, in her dealings with others, 
courtesy, smoothness, cunning, dexterity, intrigue, 
management, — these, it seems, are the ends of the Catholic 
Church. Well, my brethren, she cannot help succeed- 
ing, she cannot help being strong, she cannot help being 
beautiful ; it is her gift ; as she moves, the many wonder 
and adore ; — " Et vera incessu patuit Dea." It cannot 
be otherwise, certainly ; but it is not her aim ; she goes- 



forth on the one errand, as I have said, of healing the 
diseases of the soul. Look, I say, into any book of moral 
theology you will ; there is much there which may startle 
you ; you will find principles hard to digest ; explanations 
which seem to you subtle ; details which distress you ; 
you will find abundance of what will make excellent 
matter of attack at Exeter Hall ; but you will find from 
first to last this one idea, — nay, that very matter of attack 
is occasioned by her keeping it in view ; she would be 
saved the odium, she would not have thus bared her side 
to the sword, but for her fidelity to it ; — the one idea that 
sin is the enemy of the soul ; and sin especially consists, 
not in overt acts, but in the thoughts of the heart. 

This, then, is the point I insist upon, in answer to the 
objection which you have to-day urged against me. The 
Church aims, not at making a show, but at doing a work. 
She regards this world, and all that is in it, as a mere 
shade, as dust and ashes, compared with the value of one 
single soul. She holds that, unless she can, in her 
own way, do good to souls, it is no use her doing 
any thing ; she holds that it were better for sun and 
moon to drop from heaven, for the earth to fail, and for 
all the many millions who are upon it to die of starvation 
in extremest agony, as far as temporal affliction goes, 
than that one soul, I will not say, should be lost, but 
should commit one single venial sin, should tell one 
wilful untruth, though it harmed no one, or steal one 
poor farthing without excuse. She considers the action 
of this world and the action of the soul simply incommen- 
surate, viewed in their respective spheres; she would 
rather save the soul of one single wild bandit of Calabria, 
or whining beggar of Palermo, than draw a hundred lines 
fit railroad through the length of Italy, or carry out a 


sanitary reform, in its fullest details, in every city of 
Sicily, except so far as these great national works tended 
to some spiritual good beyond them. 

Such is the Church, ye men of the world, and now 
you know her. Such she is, such she will be, and though 
she aims at your good, it is in her own way, — and if you 
oppose her, she defies you. She has her mission, and do 
it she will, whether she be in rags, or in fine linen ; 
whether with awkward or with refined carriage ; whether 
by means of uncultivated intellects, or with the grace of 
accomplishments. Not that, in fact, she is not the source 
of numberless temporal and moral blessings to you also ; 
the history of ages testifies it ; but she makes no pro- 
mises ; she is sent to seek the lost ; — that is her first 
object, and she will fulfil it, whatever comes of it. 

And now in saying this, I think I have gone a great 
way towards suggesting one main solution of the diffi- 
culty which I proposed to consider. The question was 
this: — How is it, that at this time Catholic countries 
happen to be behind Protestants in civilization? In 
answer, I do not determine how far the fact is so, or what 
explanation there may be of the appearance of it; but 
any how the fact is surely no objection to Catholicism, 
unless Catholicism has professed, or ought to have profes- 
sed, directly to promote mere civilization ; — on the other 
hand, it has a work of its own, and this work, I have said or 
implied, is, first, different from that of the world ; next, 
difficult of attainment^ compared with that of the world ; 
and lastly, secret from the world in its parts and conse- 
quences. If, then, Spain or Italy be deficient in secular 
progress, if the national mind in those countries be but 
partially formed, if it be unable to develope into civil 
institutions, if it have no moral instinct of deference to a. 


policeman, if the national finances be in disorder, if the 
people be excitable, and open to deception from political 
pretenders, if it know little or nothing of arts, sciences, 
and literature ; — I repeat I do not admit all this, except 
hypothetically ; I think it an exaggeration ; — then all I 
can say, is, that it is not wonderful that civil institutions, 
which profess these objects, should succeed better than 
the Church, which does not. Not till the State is blamed 
for not making saints, may it fairly be laid to the 
fault of the Church that she cannot invent a steam-engine 
or construct a tariff. It is in truth merely because she 
has often done so much more than she professes, it is 
really in consequence of her very exuberance of benefit 
to the world, that the world is disappointed that she does 
not display that exuberance always, — like some hangers-on 
of the great, who come at length to think they have a 
claim on their bounty. 

Now let me try to bring out what I mean more in de- 
tail; and, in doing so, I hope to be pardoned, my 
brethren, if my language be now and then of a more 
directly religious cast than I willingly would admit into 
disquisitions such as the present. In religious language, 
then, the one object of the Church, to which every other 
object is second, is that of reconciling the soul to God. 
She cannot disguise from herself, that, with whatever 
advantages her children commence their course, in spite 
of their baptism, in spite of their most careful education 
and training, still the great multitude of them require her 
present and continual succour to keep them or rescue 
them from a state of mortal sin. Taking human nature 
as it is, she knows well, that, left to themselves, they 
would relapse into the state of those who are not Catho- 
lics, whatever latent principle of truth and goodness 


might remain in them, and whatever consequent hope of 
a future revival. They may be full of ability and energy, 
they may be men of genius, men of literature and taste, 
poets and painters, musicians and architects ; they may be 
statesmen or soldiers ; they may be in professions or in 
trade ; they may be skilled in the mechanical arts ; they 
may be a hard-working, money-making community ; they 
may have great political influence ; they may pour out a 
flood of population on every side; they may have a 
talent for colonization ; or, on the other hand, they 
may be members of a country once glorious, whose day 
is passed ; where luxury, or civil discord, or want of 
mental force, or other more subtle cause, is the insuper- 
able bar in the way of any national demonstration ; or 
they may be half reclaimed from barbarism ; or they 
may be a simple rural population; they may be in 
the cold north, or the beautiful south; but, whatever 
and wherever they are, the Church knows well, that 
those vast masses of population, as viewed in the 
individual units of which they are composed, are in 
a state of continual lapse from the Centre of sanc- 
tity and love, ever falling under His displeasure, 
and tending to a state of habitual alienation from 
Him. Her one work towards these many millions, is, 
year after year, day after day, to be raising them out 
of the mire, and when they sink again to raise them 
again, and so to keep them afloat, as she best may, on the 
surface of that stream, which is carrying them down to 
eternity. Of course, through God's mercy, there are 
numbers who are exceptions to this statement, who are 
living in obedience and peace, or going on to perfection ; 
but the word of Christ, " Many are called, few are 
chosen," is fulfilled in any extensive field of operation 



which the Church is called to superintend. Her one 
object, through her ten thousand organs, by preachers and 
by confessors, by parish priests and by religious commu- 
nities, in missions and in retreats, at Christmas and at 
Easter, by fasts and by feasts, by devotions and by 
indulgences, is this unwearied ever-patient reconciliation 
of the soul to God and obliteration of sin. Thus, in the 
words of Scripture, most emphatically, she knows nought 
else, but " Jesus Christ and Him crucified." It is her 
ordinary toil, into which her other labours resolve them- 
selves, or towards which they are directed. Does she 
send out her missionaries ? Does she summon her doc- 
tors ? Does she enlarge or diversify her worship ? does 
she multiply her religious bodies ? It is all to gain souls 
to Christ. And if she encourages other enterprises, 
studies, or pursuits, as she does, or the arts of civilization 
generally, it is either from their indirect bearing upon her 
great object, or from the spontaneous energy which 
great ideas exert, and the irresistible influence which they 
exercise, in matters and in provinces not really their own. 
Moreover, as sins are of unequal gravity in God''s judg- 
ment, though all of whatever kind are offensive to Him, 
and incur their measure of punishment, the Church's great 
object is to discriminate between sin and sin, and to se- 
cure in individuals that renunciation of evil, which is 
implied in the idea of a substantial and unfeigned conver- 
sion. She has no warrant, and she has no encourage- 
ment, to enforce upon men in general more than those 
habits of virtue, the absence of which would be tanta- 
mount to their separation from God ; and she thinks she 
has done a great deal, and exults in her success, does 
she proceed so far; and she bears as she may, what 
remains still to be done, in the conviction that, did she 


attempt more, she might lose all. There are sins which are 
simply incompatible with contrition and absolution under 
any circumstances ; there are others which are disorders 
and disfigurements of the soul. She exhorts men against 
the second, she directs her efforts against the first. 

Now here at once the Church and the world part 
company ; for the world too, as is necessary, has its scale 
of offences as well as the Church ; but, referring them to a 
contrary object, it classifies them on quite a contrary 
principle ; so that what is heinous in the world may be 
regarded patiently by the Church, and what is horrible 
and ruinous in the judgment of the Church may fail to 
exclude a man from the best society of the world. 
And, this being so, when the world contemplates the 
training of the Church and its results, then, judging by 
its own standard, it cannot avoid, from the nature of the 
case, if for no other reason, thinking very contemptu- 
ously of fruits, which are so different from those which it 
makes the standard and token of moral excellence. 

I may say the Church aims at three special virtues, 
which reconcile and unite the soul to its Maker ; — faith, 
purity, and charity ; — for two of which the world cares 
little or nothing. The world, on the other hand, puts in 
the first place, in some states of society, certain heroic 
quahties; in others, certain virtues of a political or 
mercantile character. In ruder ages, it is personal 
courage, strength of purpose, magnanimity ; in more 
civilized, honesty, fairness, honour, truth, and benevo- 
lence : — virtues, all of which, of course, the teaching of 
the Church comprehends, all of which she expects in 
their degree in all her consistent children, and all of 
which she exacts in their fulness in her saints : but 
which, after all, most beautiful as they are, are really 


the fruit of nature as well as of grace ; which do not 
necessarily imply grace at all : which do not reach so 
far as sanctity, or unite the soul by any supernatural 
process to the source of supernatui-al perfection and 
supernatural blessedness. Again, as I have already said, 
the Church contemplates virtue and vice in their first 
elements, as conceived and existing in thought, desire, 
and will, and holds that the one or the other may be as 
complete and mature, without passing forth from the 
home of the secret heart, as if it had ranged forth in 
profession and in deed all over the earth. Thus, in a 
certain sense, she ignores bodies politic, and society, and 
temporal interests : whereas the world talks of religion 
being a matter of private concern, too personal, too 
sacred, for it to have any opinion about : it praises 
public men, if they are useful to itself, but simply ridi- 
cules inquiry into their motives, thinks it imperti- 
nent in others to attempt it, and out of taste in them- 
selves to invite it. All public men it thinks pretty much 
the same at bottom ; but what matter to it, if they do its 
work? It offers high pay, and it expects faithful 
service ; but as to its agents, overseers, men of business, 
operatives, journeymen, figure-servants, and labourers, 
what they are personally, what their principles and aims, 
what their creed, what their conversation is, where they 
live, how they spend their leisure time, whither they are 
going, how they die, — I am stating a simple matter of 
fact, I am not here praising or blaming, I am but con- 
trasting, — I say, all questions implying the existence of 
the soul, are as much beyond the circuit of the world's 
imagination, as they are intimately and primarily present 
to. the apprehension of the Church. 

The Church, then, considers the momentary, fleeting 


act of the will, in the three subject matters I have men- 
tioned, to be capable of guiltiness of the deadliest charac- 
ter, or of the most efficacious and triumphant merit. 
She holds that a soul laden with the most enormous 
offence in deed as well as thought, a savage tyrant, who 
delighted in cruelty, an habitual adulterer, a murderer, a 
blasphemer, who has scoffed at religion through a long 
life, and corrupted every soul which he could bring 
within his influence, who has loathed the Sacred Name, 
and cursed his Saviour, — that such a man can, in a moment, 
by one thought of the heart, by one true act of contrition, 
reconcile himself to Almighty God, (through His secret 
grace,) without Sacrament, without Priest, and be as 
clean, and fair, and lovely, as if he had never sinned. 
Again, she considers that in a moment also, with eyes 
shut and arms folded, a man may cut himself off from 
the Almighty by a deliberate act of the will, and cast 
himself into perdition. With the world it is the reverse ; 
a member of society may go as near, the line of evil, as 
the world draws it, as he will ; but, till he has passed it, 
he is safe. Again, when he has once transgressed it, 
recovery is impossible ; let honour of man or woman be 
sullied, and to restore its splendour is simply to undo the 
past ; it is impossible. 

Such being the extreme difference between the Church 
and theAvorld, both as to the measure and the scale of 
moral good and evil, we may be prepared for those vast dif- 
ferences in matters of detail, which I hardly like to mention, 
lest they should be out of keeping with the gravity of the 
subject, as contemplated in its broad principle. For in- 
stance, the Church pronounces the momentary wish, if con- 
scious and deliberate, that another should meet with his 
death, or suffer any grievous misfortune, as a blacker sin 


than a passionate, unpremeditated attempt on the life of 
the Sovereign. She considers consent, though as quick a& 
thought, to a single unchaste wish as indefinitely more 
heinous than any lie which can possibly be fancied, that 
is, when viewed, of course, in itself, and apart from its 
causes, motives, and consequences. Take a mere beggar- 
woman, lazy, ragged, filthy, and not over scrupulous of 
truth, — (I do not say she has arrived at perfection,) — but 
if she is chaste, and sober, and cheerful, and goes to her 
religious duties, (and I am supposing not at all an im- 
possible case,) she will, in the eyes of the Church, have 
a prospect of heaven, quite closed and refused to the 
State's pattern-man, the just, the upright, the generous, 
the honourable, the conscientious, if he be all this, not 
from a supernatural power, — (I do not determine whether 
this is likely to be the fact, but I am contrasting views 
and principles,) — not from a supernatural power, but from 
mere natural virtue. Polished delicate-minded ladies, 
with little of temptation around them, and no self-denial 
to practise, in spite of their refinement and taste, if they 
be nothing more, are objects of less interest to her than 
many a poor outcast who sins, repents, and is with 
difficulty kept just within the territory of grace. Again, 
excess in drinking is one of the world's most disgraceful 
offences ; odious it ever is in the eyes of the Church, but 
if it does not proceed to the loss of reason, she thinks it 
a far less sin than one deliberate act of detraction, though 
the matter of it be truth. And again, not unfrequently 
does a Priest hear a confession of thefts, which he knows 
would sentence the penitent to transportation, if brought 
into a court of justice, but which he knows too, in the judg- 
ment of the Church, might be pardoned on the man's pri- 
vate contrition, without any confession at all. Once more, 

T 2 


the State has the guardianship of property, as the Church 
is the guardian'of the faith ; in the middle ages the Church 
put to death for heresy, and even in our own times the 
State has put to death for forgery, nay, I suppose, for 

Now, my brethren, you may think it impolitic in me 
thus candidly to state what may be so strange in the eyes 
of the world ; — but not so, my dear brethren, just the 
contrary. The world already knows quite enough of our 
difference of judgment from it on the whole ; it knows 
that difference also in its results ; it does not know that 
it is based on principle ; it taunts the Church with that 
difference, as if nothing could be said for her, as if it were 
not, as it is, a mere question of a balance of evils, as if 
the Church had nothing to show for herself, were simply 
ashamed of her evident helplessness, and pleaded guilty 
to the charge of her inferiority to the world in the moral 
effects of her teaching. The world points to the children 
of the Church, and asks if she acknowledges them as her 
own. It dreams not that the contrast arises out of a 
difference of principle, and that she claims to recognize a 
principle higher than the world's. Principle is always 
respectable ; even a bad man is more respected, though 
he may be more hated, if he owns and justifies his 
actions, than if he is wicked by accident ; now the Church 
professes to judge after the judgment of the Almighty ; 
and it cannot be imprudent or impolitical to bring this 
out clearly and boldly. His judgment is not as man's : 
" I judge not according to the look of man," He says ; 
" for man seeth those things which appear, but the Lord 
beholdeth the heart." The Church aims at realities, the 
world at decencies ; she dispenses with a complete work, 
so she can but make a thorough one. Provided she 



can do for the soul what is necessary, if she can but pull 
the brands out of the burning, if she can but extract the 
poisonous root which is the death of the soul, and expel 
the disease, she is content, though she leaves in it 
secondary maladies, little as she sympathizes with them. 
Now, were it to my present purpose to attack the 
principles and proceedings of the world, of course it 
would be obvious for me to retort upon the cold, cruel, 
selfish system, which this supreme worship of comfort, 
decency, and social order, necessarily introduces ; to 
show you how the many are sacrificed to the few, the 
poor to the wealthy, how an oligarchical monopoly 
of enjoyment is established far and wide, and the 
claims of want, and pain, and sorrow, and afflic- 
tion, and guilt, and misery, are practically forgotten. 
But I will not have recourse to the common-places of 
controversy, when I am on the defensive. All I 
would say to the world is, — Keep your theories to 
yourself, do not inflict them upon the sons of Adam 
every where ; do not measure heaven and earth by 
views which are in a great degree insular, and never 
can be philosophical and catholic. You do your work 
perhaps in a more business-like way, compared with our- 
selves, but we are immeasurably more tender, and gentle, 
and angelic. We come to poor human nature as the 
angels of God, and you as policemen. Look at your 
poor-houses, hospitals, lunatic asylums, and prisons ; how 
perfect are their externals ! what skill and ingenuity ap- 
pear in their structure, economy, and administration ! 
they are as decent and bright and calm, as what our Lord 
seems to name them, — dead men"'s sepulchres. Yes ! 
they have all the world can give, all but life ; all but a 
heart. Yes ! you can hammer up a coffin, you can 


plaster a tomb ; you are nature's undertakers; you cannot 
build it a home. You cannot feed it, or heal it ; it lies, 
like Lazarus, at your gate, full of sores. You see it 
gasping and panting with privations and penalties ; and 
you sing to it, you dance to it, you show it your picture- 
books, you let off your fireworks, you open your mena- 
geries. Shallow philosophers ! is this mode of going on 
so winning and persuasive, that we should imitate it ? 

Look at your conduct towards criminals, and honestly 
say, whether you expect a power, which claims to be 
divine, to turn copyist of you ? You have the power of 
life and death committed to you by heaven ; and some 
wretched being is sentenced to fall under it for some deed 
of treachery and blood. It is a righteous sentence, re- 
echoed by a whole people ; and you have a feeling that 
the criminal himself ought to concur in it, and sentence 
himself. There is an universal feeling that he ought to 
resign himself to your act, and, as it were, take part in 
it ; in other words, there is a sort of instinct among you 
that he should make confession, and you are not content 
without his doing so. So far the Church goes along with 
you ; so far, but no further. To whom is he to confess ? 
To me, says the Priest, for he has injured the Almighty. 
To me, says the world, for he has injured me. Forgetting 
that the power to sentence is simply from God, and that 
the sentence, if just, is God''s sentence, the world is 
peremptory that no confession shall be made by him to 
God, without its being in the secret. It is right, doubt- 
less, that he should make reparation to man as well as to 
God ; but it is not right that the world should insist on 
having precedence of its Maker, or should prescribe that 
its Maker should have no secrets apart from itself, or that 
no divine ministration should relieve a laden breast with- 

LECTtJRE Vlll. 211 

out its meddling in the act. Yet the world rules it, that 
whatever is said to a minister of religion in religious con- 
fidence, is its own property. It considers a clergyman 
who attends upon the culprit to be its own servant, and 
by its boards of magistrates, and by its literary organs, 
it insists on his revealing to its judgment- seat what 
was uttered before the judgment-seat of God. What 
wonder, then, if such forlorn wretches, when thus plainly 
told that the world is their only god, and knowing that 
they are quitting the presence of that high potentate for 
ever, steel themselves with obduracy, encounter it with 
defiance, baffle its curiosity, and inflict on its impatience 
such poor revenge as is in its power ? They come forth 
into the light, and look up into the face of day for the 
last time, and, amid the jests and blasphemies of myriads, 
they pass from a world which they hate into a world 
which they deny. Small mercies, indeed, has this world 
shown them, and they make no trial of the mercies of 
another ! 

Oh, how contrary is the look, the bearing of the Catholic 
Church to these poor outcasts of mankind ! There was a 
time, when one who denied his Lord, was brought to re- 
pentance by a glance ; and such is the method which 
His Church teaches to those nations who acknowledge 
her authority and her sway. The civil magistrate, stern 
of necessity, in his function, and inexorable in his resolve, 
at her bidding, gladly puts on a paternal countenance, 
and takes on him an office of mercy towards the victim 
of his wrath. He infuses the ministry of life into the 
ministry of death ; he afflicts the body for the good of 
the soul, and converts the penalty of human law into an 
instrument of everlasting bliss. It is good for human 
beings to die as infants, before they have known good or 


evil, if they have but received the baptism of the Church ; 
but next to these, who are the happiest, who are the safest, 
for whose departure have we more cause to rejoice, and be 
thankful, than for theirs, who, if they live on, are so likely 
to relapse into old habits of sin, but who are taken out of 
this miserable world in the flower of their contrition, and 
in the freshness of their preparation ; — just at the very 
moment when they have perfected themselves in good 
dispositions, and from their heart have put off" sin, 
and have come humbly for pardon, and have received 
the grace of absolution, and have been fed with the bread 
of Angels, and thus, amid the prayers of all men, have 
departed to their Maker and their Judge 1 I say " the 
prayers of all :" for oh the difference, in this respect, 
in the execution of the extreme sentence of the 
law, between a Catholic State and another ! We 
have all heard of the scene of impiety and profane- 
ness which attends on the execution of a criminal in 
England ; so much so, that benevolent and thoughtful 
men are perplexed between the evil of privacy and the 
outrages which publicity occasions. Well, England sur- 
passes Eome in ten thousand matters of this world, but 
never would the Holy City tolerate an enormity which 
powerful England cannot hinder. An arch confraternity 
was instituted there at the close of the fifteenth century, 
under the invocation of San Giovanni Decollate, the Holy 
Baptist, who lost his head by a king's sentence, though 
an unjust one ; and it exercises its pious offices towards 
condemned criminals even now. When a culprit is to be 
executed, the night preceding the fatal day, two priests 
of the brotherhood, who sometimes happen to be Bishops 
or persons of high authority in the city, remain with him 
in prayer, attend him on the scaffold the next morning. 


and assist him through every step of the terrible ceremo- 
nial of which he is the subject. The Blessed Sacrament 
is exposed in all the churches all over the city, that the 
faithful may assist a sinner about to make a compulsory 
appearance before his Judge. The crowd about the 
scaffold is occupied in but one thought, whether he has 
shown signs of contrition. Various reports are in circu- 
lation, that he is obdurate, that he has yielded, that he is 
obdurate still. The women cry out that it is impossible ; 
Jesus and Mary will see to it ; they will not believe that 
it is so ; they are sure that he will submit himself to his 
God before he enters into His presence. However, it is 
perhaps confirmed that the unhappy man is still wrestling 
with his pride ; and though he has that illumination of 
faith which a Catholic cannot but possess, yet he cannot 
bring himself to hate and abhor sins which, except in 
their awful consequences, are, as far as their enjoyment, 
gone from him for ever. He cannot taste again the 
pleasure of revenge or of forbidden indulgence, yet he 
cannot get himself to give it up, though the world is 
passing from him. The excitement of the crowd is at 
its height ; an hour passes ; the suspense is intolerable, 
when the news is brought of a change ; that, before the 
crucifix, in the solitude of his cell, at length the, not 
unhappy any longer, the happy criminal has subdued him- 
self; has prayed with real self-abasement; has expressed, 
has felt, a charitable, a tender thought towards those he 
has hated ; has resigned himself lovingly to his destiny ; 
has blessed the hand that smites him ; has supplicated 
pardon ; has confessed with all his heart, and placed 
himself at the disposal of his Priest, to make such 
amends as he can make in his last hour to God and man ; 
has desired to submit here to indignity, to pain, to which 



he is not sentenced ; has resigned himself to any length 
of purgatory hereafter, if thereby he may, through God's 
mercy, show his sincerity, and his desire of pardon and of 
gaining the lowest place in the kingdom of heaven. 
The news comes ; it is communicated through the vast 
multitude all at once ; and, I have heard from those who 
have been present, never shall they forget the instanta- 
neous shout of joy which burst forth from every tongue, 
and formed itself into one concordant Ave of thanks- 
giving, in acknowledgment of the grace vouchsafed to one 
so near eternity. 

It is not wonderful then to find the holy men, who from 
time to time have done the pious office of preparing such 
criminals for death, so confident of their salvation. " So 
well convinced was Father Olaver of the eternal happiness 
of almost all those whom he assisted," says this saintly 
missionary's biographer, " that, speaking once of some 
persons who had delivered a criminal into the hands of 
justice, he said, ' God forgive them ; but they have 
secured the salvation of this man at the probable risk of 
their own.** Most of the criminals considered it a grace 
to die in the hands of this holy man. As soon as he 
spake to them the most savage and indomitable became 
gentle as lambs ; and, in place of their ordinary impreca- 
tions, nothing was heard but sighs, and the sound of 
bloody disciplines, which they took before leaving the 
prison for execution." 

But I must come to an end. I do not consider, my 
brethren, I have said all that might be said in answer to 
the difficulty which has come under our consideration ; 
nor have I proposed to do so. Such an undertaking 
does not fall within the scope of these Lectures ; it is 


an inquiry into facts. It is enough if I have suggested 
to you one thought which may most materially invalidate 
it. You tell me, that the political and civil state of 
CathoHc countries is below that of Protestant : I answer, 
that, even though you prove the fact, you have to prove 
something besides, if it is to be an argument, viz. that 
the standard of civil prosperity or political aggrandize- 
ment is the truest test of grace and the greatest measure 
of salvation. 



I CONSIDERED, in the preceding Lecture, the objection 
brought in this day against the CathoHc Church, from the 
state of the countries which belong to her. It is urged, 
that they are so far behind the rest of the world in the 
arts and comforts of life, in power of political combina- 
tion, in civil economy, and the social virtues, in a word, 
in all that tends to make this world pleasant, and the loss 
of it painful, that their religion cannot come from above. 
I answered, that, before the argument could be made to 
tell, it must be proved, not only that the fact was as 
stated, (and I think it should be very closely examined,) 
but especially that there is that essential connexion in 
the nature of things between true religion and temporal 
prosperity, which the objection took for granted. That 
there is a natural and ordinary connexion between them 
no one would deny : but it is one thing to say that 
prosperity ought to follow from religion, quite another to 
say that it must follow from it. Thus, health, for instance, 
may be expected from a habit of regular exercise ; but no 
one would positively deny the fact that exercise had been 


taken in a particular case, merely because the patient 
gave signs of an infirm or sickly state of body. And, 
indeed, there may be particular and most wise reasons in 
the scheme of Divine Providence, whatever be the legiti- 
mate tendency of the Catholic faith, for its being left, 
from time to time, without any striking manifestations of 
its beneficial action upon the temporal interests of man- 
kind, without the influence of wealth, learning, civil talent, 
or political sagacity ; nay, as in the days of St. Cyprian 
and St. Augustin, with the actual reproach of impairing 
the material resources and the social greatness of the 
nations which embrace it : viz. in order to remind the 
Church, and to teach the world, that she needs no 
temporal recommendations who has a heavenly Protector, 
but can make her way (as they say) against wind and tide. 
This, then, was the subject I selected for my last 
Lecture, and I said there were three reasons, why the 
world is no fit judge of the work, or the kind of work, 
really done by the Church in any age : — first, because the 
world's measure of good and scope of action are so 
different from those of the Church, that it judges as un- 
fairly and as narrowly of the fruits of Catholicism and 
their value, as a soldier might judge of the use and the 
influence of literature, or rather indefinitely more so. The 
Church, though she embraces all conceivable virtues in 
her teaching, and every kind of good, temporal as well as 
spiritual, in her exertions, does not survey them from the 
same point of view, or classify them in the same order as 
the world. She makes secondary, what the world con- 
siders indispensable ; she places first what the world does 
not even recognise, or undervalues, or dislikes, or thinks 
impossible ; and not being able, taking mankind as it is 
found, to do every thing, she is often obliged to give up 


altogether what she thinks of but secondary moment, 
in a particular age, or a particular country, instead of 
effecting at all risks that extirpation of social evils, which, 
in the world"'s eyes, is so necessary, that it thinks nothing 
really is done, till it is secured. Her base of operations, from 
the difficulties of the season or period, is sometimes not 
broad enough to enable her to advance against crime as 
well as against sin, and to destroy barbarism as well as 
irreligion. The world, in consequence, thinks, that, be- 
cause she has not done the worWs work, she has not 
fulfilled her Master''s purpose ; and imputes to her the 
enormity of having put eternity before time. 

And next, let it be observed that she has undertaken the 
more difficult work ; it is difficult certainly to enlighten 
the savage, to make him peaceable, orderly, and self-deny- 
ing ; to persuade him to dress like a European, to make 
him prefer a feather-bed to the heather or the cave, and to 
appreciate the comforts of the fire-side and the tea-table : 
but it is indefinitely more difficult, even with the super- 
natural powers given to the Church, to make the most 
refined, accomplished, amiable of men, chaste or humble ; 
to bring, not only his outward actions, but his thoughts, 
imaginations, and aims, into conformity to a law which is 
naturally distasteful to him. It is not wonderful then, 
if the Church does not do so much in the Church's way, 
as the world does in the world's way. The world has 
nature as an ally, and the Church, on the whole, has it as 
an enemy. 

And lastly, as I have implied, her best fruit is neces- 
sarily secret : she fights with the heart of man ; her per- 
petual conflict is against the pride, the impurity, the 
coyetousness, the envy, the animosity, which never gets 
so far as to come to light ; which she succeeds in 

X 2 


strangling in its birth. From the nature of the case, 
she ever will do more in repressing evil, than in creating 
good ; moreover, virtue and sanctity, even where realized, 
are also in great measure secret possessions, known only 
to God and good angels ; for these then and other reasons 
the power and the triumphs of the Church must be hid 
from the world, unless the doors of the Confessional could 
be flung open, and its whispers carried abroad on the voices 
of the winds. Nor indeed would this be enough for the due 
comparison of the Church with religions which aim at no 
personal self-government, and disown on principle exami- 
nation of conscience and confession of sin ; but for its 
execution we must wait for that day, when the books 
shall be opened and the secrets of hearts shall be dis- 
closed. For all these reasons then, from the peculiarity, 
and the arduousness, and the secrecy of the mission 
given to the Church, it comes to pass that the world 
may, at particular periods, think very slightingly of her 
influence on society, and vastly prefer its own methods 
and its own achievements. 

So much I suggested towards the consideration of a 
subject, to which justice could not really be done except 
in a very lengthened disquisition, and by an examination 
of matters which lie beyond the range of these Lectures. 
If then to-day I make a second remark upon it, I do so 
with the object I have kept before me all along, of 
merely smoothing the way into the Catholic Church of 
those who are already very near the gate ; who have 
reasons enough, taken by themselves, for believing her 
claims, but are perplexed and stopped by the counter ar- 
guments which are urged against her, or at least against 
joining her. 

To-day, then, I shall fancy an objector to reply to 


what I have said in the following manner: viz. I shall 
suppose him to say, that " the reproach of Catholicism is, 
not what it does not do, so much as what it does ; that 
its teaching and its training do produce a certain very 
definite character on a nation and on individuals ; and 
that character, so far from being too religious or too spiri- 
tual, is just the reverse, very like the world's ; that reli- 
gion is a sacred, awful, mysterious, solemn matter ; that 
it should be approached, with fear, and named, as it were, 
sotto voce : whereas Oathohcs, whether in the North or the 
South, in the middle ages or in modern times, exhibit 
the combined and contrary faults of profaneness and 
superstition. There is a bold, shallow, hard, indelicate 
way among them of speaking of even points of faith, 
which is, to use studiously mild language, utterly out of 
taste, and indescribably offensive to any person of ordi- 
nary refinement. They are rude where they should be 
reverent, jocose where they should be grave, and loqua- 
cious where they should be silent. The most sacred feel- 
ings, the most august doctrines, are glibly enunciated in 
the shape of some short and smart theological formula ; 
purgatory, hell, and the evil spirit, are a sort of house- 
hold words upon their tongue ; the most solemn duties, 
such as confession, or saying office, whether as spoken of 
or as performed, have a business-like air and a mecha- 
nical action about them, quite inconsistent with their real 
nature. Religion is made both free and easy, and yet 
formal. Superstitions and false miracles are at once 
preached, assented to, and laughed at, till one really 
does not know what is believed and what is not, or 
whether any thing is believed at all. The saints are 
lauded yet affi'onted. Take medieval England or France, 
or modern Belgium or Italy, it is all the same ; you have 


your boy-bishop at Salisbury, your lord of misrule at 
Rheims, and at Sens your feast of asses. Whether in 
the South now, or in the North formerly, you have the 
excesses of your Carnival. Legends, such as that of 
St. Dunstan's fight with the author of evil at Glaston- 
bury, are popular in Germany, in Spain, in Scotland, and 
in Italy; while in Naples or in Seville your populations 
rise in periodical fury against the celestial patrons whom 
they ordinarily worship. These are but single instances 
of a wide-spread and momentous phenomenon, to which 
you ought not to shut your eyes, and to which we can 
never be reconciled ; a phenomenon in which we see a 
plain providential indication, that, in spite of our cer- 
tainty, — first, that there is a Catholic Church, next, that 
it is not the religious communion dominant in England, 
or Russia, or Greece, or Prussia, or Holland ; in short, 
that it is nothing else than the communion of Rome, — still 
it is our bounden duty to have nothing to do with the 
Pope, the Holy See, or the Church of which it is the 
centre." Such is the charge, my brethren, brought 
against the Catholic Church, both by the Evangelical 
section of the Establishment and by your own. 

Now I grant to you, that to no national diflferences can 
be attributed a character of religion so specific and pecu- 
liar ; it is too uniform, too universal to be ascribed to any 
thing short of the genius of Catholicism itself ; that is, 
its principles and influence acting upon human nature, 
such as it is every where found. Such must be the fact, 
and I accept it ; I accept it, I repeat in general terms 
what you have said ; but I would add to it, and turn a 
fact into a general, a philosophical truth. I say, then, 
that such is the very phenomenon, which must necessa- 
rily result from a revelation of divine truth falling upon 



the human mind in its existing state of ignorance and 
moral feebleness. 

The wonder and the offence which Protestants feel, 
arise, in no small measure, from the fact that they hold 
the opinions of Protestants. They have been taught 
a religion, and imbibed ideas and feelings, and are suf- 
fering under disadvantages, which create the difficulty of 
which they complain ; and, to remove it, I shall be 
obliged, as on some former occasions, against my will 
to explain a point of doctrine. Protestants then con- 
sider, that faith and love are inseparable : where there is 
faith, there, they think, is love and obedience ; and in pro- 
portion to the strength and degree of the former, is the 
strength and degree of the latter. They do not think 
the inconsistency possible of really believing without 
obeying ; and, where they see disobedience, they cannot 
imagine the existence of true faith. Catholics, on the 
other hand, hold that faith and love, faith and obedience, 
faith and works, are simply separable, and ordinarily 
separated in fact ; that faith does not imply love, obe- 
dience, or works ; that the firmest faith, so as to move 
mountains, may exist without love, that is, true faith, as 
truly faith in the strict sense of the word as the faith of 
a martyr or a doctor. In fact, it contemplates a gift 
which Protestantism does not imagine. Faith is a spi- 
ritual sight of the unseen, and Protestantism has not this 
sight ; it does not see the unseen ; this habit, this act of 
the mind is foreign to it ; so, since it keeps the word 
"faith," it is obliged to find some other meaning for it; 
and its common, perhaps its commonest, idea is, that 
faith is substantially the same as obedience; that it is the 
injpulse, the motive of obedience, or the fervour and 
heartiness which attend good works. In a word, that 


faith is hope or love, or a mixture of the two. It does 
not contemplate faith in its Catholic sense ; for it has 
been taught by flesh and blood, not by grace. 

Now faith, in a Catholic's creed, is a certainty of 
things not seen, but revealed ; a certainty, preceded in- 
deed in many cases by particular exercises of the intel- 
lect, as conditions, by reflection, prayer, study, argu- 
ment, or the like, and ordinarily by the instrumental 
sacrament of IJaptism, but caused directly by a super- 
natural influence on the mind from above. It is thus a 
spiritual sight ; and the nearest parallel by which it can 
be illustrated is the moral sense. As nature has im- 
pressed upon our minds a faculty of recognising certain 
moral truths, when they are presented to us from with- 
out, so that we are quite sure that veracity, for instance, 
benevolence, and purity, are right and good, and that 
their contraries involve guilt, in a somewhat similar way, 
grace impresses upon us inwardly that revelation which 
comes to us sensibly by the ear or eye ; similarly, yet 
more vividly and distinctly, because the moral perception 
consists in sentiments, but the grace of faith carries the 
mind on to objects. This certainty, or spiritual sight, 
which is included in the idea of faith, is, according to 
Catholic teaching, perfectly distinct in its own nature 
from the desire, intention, and power of acting agreeably 
to it. As men may know perfectly well that they ought 
not to steal, and yet may deliberately take and appro- 
priate what is not theirs ; so may they be gifted with a 
simple, undoubting, cloudless belief, that, for instance, 
Christ is in the Blessed Sacrament, and yet commit the 
sacrilege of breaking open the tabernacle, and carrying 
off the consecrated particles for the sake of the precious 
vessel containing them. It is said in Scripture, that the 


evil spirits " believe and tremble ;"" and reckless men, in 
like manner, may, in the very sight of hell, deliberately 
sin for the sake of some temporary gratification. Under 
these circumstances, even though I did not assume the 
Catholic view of the subject to be true, which in the 
present state of the argument I fairly may do (for I con- 
ceive that I have led you, my brethren, to the very 
threshold of the Catholic Church, and am viewing ob- 
jections, not exactly in themselves, but as a Catholic ac- 
counts for them, and disposes of them, in order to show that 
they are no bar in the way of your existing arguments 
for Catholicism carrying you on to conviction) ; and 
though I took this Catholic doctrine of faith and works 
merely as an hypothesis, since it is so probable and so 
philosophical, I would beg you to consider whether it 
does not suffice to solve the difficulty which is created in 
your minds by the aspect of Catholic countries. This, 
too, at least I may say ; if it shall turn out that the aspect 
of Catholic countries is accounted for by Catholic doc- 
trine, at least that aspect will be no difficulty to you 
when once you join the Catholic Church ; for, in joining 
the Church, you will be accepting the doctrine. Walk 
forward then into the Catholic Church, and the difficulty, 
like a phantom, will disappear. Now I am going to 
show this connexion between the doctrine and the fact. 

The case with most men is this; certainly it is the 
case of any such large and various masses of men as 
constitute a nation, that they grow up more or less in 
practical neglect of their Maker and their duties to Him. 
Nature tends to irreligion and vice, and, in matter of 
fact, that tendency is developed and fulfilled in any 
multitude of men, according to the saying of the old 
Greek, that " the many are bad," or according to the 


Scripture testimony, that the world is the enemy of its 
Creator, The state of the case is not altered, when a 
nation has been baptized ; still, in matter of fact, nature 
gets the better of grace, and the population falls into a 
state of guilt and disadvantage in one point of view 
worse than that from which it had been rescued. This 
is the matter of fact, as Scripture prophesied it should 
be : " Many are called, few are chosen ;"" " The king- 
dom of heaven is like unto a net, gathering together of 
every kind." But still, this being granted, a Catholic 
people is far from being in the same state in all respects 
as one which is not Cathohc, as theologians teach us. 
A soul which has received the grace of baptism, receives 
with it the germ or power of all supernatural virtues 
whatever, — faith, hope, charity, meekness, patience, so- 
briety, and every other that can be named ; and if it com- 
mits mortal sin, it falls out of grace, and forfeits these 
supernatural powers. It is no longer what it was, and 
is, so far, in the feeble and frightful condition of those 
who were never baptized. But there are certain remark- 
able limitations and alleviations in its punishment, and 
one is this : that the faculty or power of faith remains to 
it. Of course it may go on to resist and destroy this 
supernatural faculty also ; it may, by an act of the will, 
rid itself of its faith, as it has stripped itself of grace and 
love ; or it may gradually decay in its faith till it becomes 
a simple infidel ; but this is not the common state of a 
Cathohc people. What commonly happens is this, that 
they fall under the temptations to vice or covetousness, 
which naturally and urgently beset them, but faith is left 
to them. Thus the many are in a condition which is 
absolutely novel and strange in the ideas of a Protestant : 
they have a vivid perception, like sense, of things un- 


seen, yet have no desire at all, or affection, towards 
them ; they have knowledge without love. Such is the 
state of the many ; the Church at the same time ever 
labouring with all her might to bring them back again to 
their Maker ; and in fact is ever bringing back vast mul- 
titudes one by one, though one by one they are ever 
relapsing from her. The necessity of yearly confession, 
the Easter communion, the stated seasons of indulgence, 
the high festivals, Lent, days of obligation, with their 
Masses and preaching, — these ordinary and routine ob- 
servances ; and the extraordinary methods of missions, 
pilgrimages, jubilees, and the like, are the means by 
which the powers of the world unseen are ever acting 
upon the corrupt mass, of which a nation is composed, 
and breaking up and reversing the dreadful phenomenon 
which fact and Scripture conspire to place before us. 

Nor is this all : good and bad are mixed together, and 
the good is ever influencing and mitigating the bad. In 
the same family one or two holy souls may shed a light 
around, and raise the religious tone of the rest. In 
large and profligate towns there will be planted here and 
there communities of religious men and women, whose 
example, whose appearance, whose churches, whose cere- 
monies, whose devotions, — to say nothing of their sacer- 
dotal functions, or their charitable ministrations, — will 
ever be counteracting the intensity of the poison. Again, 
you will have vast multitudes neither good nor bad ; you 
will have many scandals ; you will have, it may be, parti- 
cular monasteries in a state of relaxation ; rich communi- 
ties breaking their rule, and living in comfort and refine- 
ment, and individuals among them lapsing into sin ; cathe- 
drals sheltering a host of officials, many of whom are a 
dishonour to the sacred place : and in country districts 


priests, who set a bad example to their flock, and are the 
cause of anxiety and grief to their bishops. And besides, 
you will have all sorts of dispositions and intellects, as 
plentifully of course as in a Protestant land : there are 
the weak and the strong-minded, the sharp and the dull, 
the passionate and the phlegmatic, the generous and 
the selfish, the idle, the proud, the sceptical, the dry- 
minded, the scheming, the enthusiastic, the self-con- 
ceited, the strange, the eccentric ; all of whom grace 
leaves in their respective natural cast or tendency of 
mind. Thus we have before us a confused and motley 
scene, as the world presents generally ; good and evil 
mingled together in all conceivable measures of combina- 
tion and varieties of result ; a perpetual vicissitude ; the 
prospect brightening, and then overcast again ; luminous 
spots, tracts of splendour, patches of darkness, twilight 
regions, and the glimmer of day : but, in spite of this 
moral confusion, in one and all a clear intellectual appre- 
hension of the truth. 

Now as to this conflict of good and evil, you will say 
that it is seen in a Protestant country in just the same 
way : that is not the point ; but this, — that on the mixed 
multitude, and on each of them, good or bad, is written, 
is stamped deep, this same wonderful knowledge. Just 
as in England, the whole community, whatever the moral 
state of individuals, knows about railroads and electric 
telegraphs ; and about the Court, and men in power, and 
proceedings in Parliament ; and about religious contro- 
versies, and about foreign affairs, and about all that is 
going on around and beyond them : so, in a Catholic 
country, the ideas of heaven and hell, Christ and the 
evil spirit, saints, angels, souls in purgatory, grace, the 
blessed Sacrament, the sacrifice of the Mass, absolution, 



indulgences, the virtue of relics, of holy images, of holy 
water, and of other holy things, are facts, by good and 
bad, by young and old, by rich and poor, to be taken for 
granted. They are facts brought home to them by faith; 
substantially the same to all, though coloured by their 
respective minds, according as they are religious or not, 
and according to the degree of their religion, Eeligious 
men use them well, the irreligious use them ill, the in- 
consistent vary in their use of them, but all use them. 
As the idea of God is before the minds of all men in a 
community not Catholic, so, but more vividly, these re- 
vealed ideas confront the minds of a Catholic people, 
whatever be the moral state of that people, taken one by 
one. They are facts attested by each to all, and by all 
to each, common property, primary points of thought, 
and landmarks, as it were, upon the territory of know- 

Now, this being considered, you will see how many 
things take place of necessity, which to Protestants seem 
shocking, and which could not be avoided, unless it had 
been promised that the Church should consist of none 
but the predestinate ; nay, unless it consisted of none 
but the educated and refined. It is the spectacle of 
supernatural faith acting upon the multitudinous mind 
of a nation ; of a divine principle dwelling in the myriad 
of characters, good, bad, and intermediate, into which 
the old stock of Adam grafted into Christ has developed. 
If a man sins grossly in a Protestant country, he is at 
once exposed to the temptation of disbelief ; and he is 
irritated when he is threatened with judgment to come. 
Men are ever irritated with conclusions and inferences ; 
Protestants hold that there is a hell, as the conclusion 
of a syllogism ; they prove it from Scripture ; it is from 


first to last a point of controversy, and an opinion ; and 
a vicious man is angry with those who hold opinions con- 
demnatory of himself, because those opinions are the 
creation of the holders, and seem to reflect personally upon 
him. Nothing is so irritating to others as private judgment. 
But men are not commonly irritated by facts; it would 
be irrational to be so, as it is in children, who beat the 
ground when they fall down. A bad Catholic does not deny 
hell, for it is to him an incontestable fact, brought home 
to him by that supernatural faith, with which he assents 
to the Divine Word speaking through Holy Church ; he 
is not angry with others for holding it, for it is no private 
decision of their own. His thoughts take a different 
turn ; he looks up to our Blessed Lady ; he knows by 
supernatural faith her power and her goodness ; he turns 
the truth to his own purpose, his bad purpose, and he 
makes her his patroness and protectress against the 
penalty of sins which he does not mean to abandon. 

Hence the strange stories of highwaymen and brigands 
devout to the Madonna. And, their wishes leading to 
the belief, they begin to circulate stories of her much- 
desired compassion towards impenitent offenders ; and 
these stories, fostered by the circumstances of the day, 
and confused with others similar, but not impossible, for 
a time are in repute. Thus the Blessed Virgin has been 
reported to deliver the reprobate from hell, and to transfer 
them to purgatory ; and absolutely to secure from perdi- 
tion all who are devout to her, repentance not being con- 
templated as the means. Or men have thought, by means 
of some sacred relic, to be secured from death in their 
perilous and guilty expeditions. So, in the middle ages, 
great men could not go out to hunt without hearing Mass, 
but were content that the priest should mutilate it, and 

I.ECTUllE IX. 231 

worse, to bring it within limits. Similar phenomena 
occur in the history of chivalry : the tournaments were 
held in defiance of the excommunications of the Church, 
yet were conducted with a show of devotion ; ordeals 
again were even religious rites, yet in like manner under- 
gone in spite of the Church's prohibition. We know the 
dissolute character of the knights of chivalry and of the 
troubadours; yet that dissoluteness, which would lead Pro- 
testant poets and travellers to scoff at religion, led them 
not to deny revealed truth, but to combine it with their 
own wild and lawless profession. The knight swore before 
Almighty God, His Blessed Mother, and the ladies : the 
troubadour offered tapers, and paid for Masses, for the 
success of his earthly attachment ; and she in turn 
painted her votary under the figure of some saint. Just 
as a heathen phraseology is now in esteem, and " hy- 
meneals " are spoken of, and the trump of fame, and the 
trident of Britannia, and a royal cradle is ornamented 
with figures of Nox and Somnus ; so in a Catholic age or 
country the Blessed Saints will be invoked by virtuous 
and vicious, in every undertaking, and will have their 
place in every room of palace or of cottage. Vice does 
not involve a neglect of the external duties of religion. 
The Crusaders had faith sufficient to bind them to a 
perilous pilgrimage and warfare ; they kept the Friday's 
abstinence, and planted the tents of their mistresses 
within the shadow of the pavilion of the glorious St. Louis. 
There are other pilgrimages besides military ones, and 
other religious journeys besides the march upon Jerusalem ; 
but the character of all of them is pretty much the same, 
as St. Jerome and St. Gregory Nyssen bear witness in 
the first age of the Church. It is a mixed multitude, 
some most holy, perhaps even saints; others penitent 



sinners ; but others, again, a mixture of pilgrim and 
beggar, or pilgrim and robber, or half gipsy, or three- 
quarters boon companion, or at least, with nothing saintly, 
and little religious about them. They will let you wash 
their feet, and serve them at table, and the hosts have 
more merit for their ministry than the guests for their 
weariness. Yet, one and all, saints and sinners, have faith 
in things invisible, which each uses in his own way. 

Listen to their conversation ; listen to the conversa- 
tion of any multitude, or any private party : what strange 
oaths mingle with it ! God's heart, and God's eyes, and 
God's wounds, and God's blood : you cry out, " How pro- 
fane !" Doubtless ; but do you not see, that the special 
profaneness above Protestant oaths lies, not in the words, 
but simply in the speaker, and is the necessary result of 
that insight into the invisible world, which you have not ? 
You use the vague words " Providence," or " the Deity," 
or " good luck," or " nature ;" when we, whether now or 
of old, realize the Creator in His living works, instru- 
ments, and personal manifestations, and speak of the 
" Sacred Heart," or " the Mother of mercies," or " our 
Lady of Walsingham," or " St. George, for merry 
England," or loving " St. Francis," or dear " St. Philip." 
Your people would be as varied and fertile in their adju- 
rations and invocations as a Catholic populace, if they 
believed as we. Again, listen how freely the name of 
the evil spirit issues from the mouth even of the better 
sort of men. What is meant by this very off-hand 
mention of the most horrible object in creation, of one, 
who, if allowed, could reduce us to ashes by the very 
hideousness of his countenance, or the odour of his 
breath ? I suppose, they act upon the advice of the 
great St. Anthony : he, in the lonely wilderness, had 

M CTURE IX. 283 

conflicts enough with the enemy, and he has given us the 
result of his long experience. In the sermon which his 
saintly biographer puts into his mouth, he teaches his 
hearers that the devil and his host are not to be feared 
by those who are within the fold, for the Good Shepherd 
has put the wolf to flight. Henceforth he could do no 
more than frighten them with empty noises, except by 
some particular permission of God, and pretend to do 
what was now beyond his power. The experience of a 
saint is imprudently acted on by sinners ; not as if 
Satan's malice were not equal to any assault upon body 
or soul, but faith accepts the word that his rule is 
broken, and that any child or peasant may ordinarily 
make sport of him and put him to ridiculous flight by 
the use of the " Hail, Mary ! " or holy water, or the sign 
of the cross. 

Once more, listen to the stories, songs, and ballads of 
the populace ; their rude and boisterous merriment still 
runs upon the great invisible subjects which possess their 
imagination. Their ideas, of whatever sort, good, bad, 
and indifferent, rise out of the next world. Hence if 
they would have plays, the subjects are sacred ; if they 
would have games and sports, these fall, as it were, into 
procession, and are formed upon the model of sacred 
rites and sacred persons. If they sing and jest, the Ma- 
donna, and the Bambino, or St. Peter, or some other 
saint is introduced, not from irreverence but because 
these are the ideas which absorb them. There is a 
festival in the streets; you look about: what is it you 
see? What it would be impossible to do in London. 
Set up a large crucifix at Charing Cross; the police 
would think you simply insane. Insane, and truly ; but 
why ? why dare you not do it ? why must you not ? be- 



cause you are averse to the sacred sign ? Not so ; you have 
it in your chamber. A CathoHc again would scarcely dare 
to do so, more than another. It is true that awful, touch- 
ing, winning Form has before now converted the very sa- 
vage who gazed on it ; he has wondered, has asked what 
it meant, has broken into tears, and been converted ere 
he knew that he believed. The manifestation of love has 
been the incentive to faith. I cannot certainly predict 
what would take place, if a saint appealed to the guilty 
consciences of those thousand passers-by, through the 
instrumentality of the Divine Sign. But such occurrences 
are not of every day ; what you would too securely and 
confidently foretel, my brethren, were such an exhibition 
made, would be, that it would but excite the scorn, the 
rage, the blasphemy, of the out-pouring flocking multi- 
tude, a multitude who in their hearts are unbelievers. 
There is no idea in the national mind, supernaturally 
implanted, which the crucifix embodies. Let a Catholic 
mob be as profligate in conduct as an English, still it 
cannot withstand, it cannot disown, it can but worship 
the crucifix ; it is the external representation of a fact, 
of which one and all are conscious to themselves and to 
each other. And hence, I say, in their fairs and places 
of amusement, in the booths, upon the stalls, upon the 
doors of wine-shops, will be paintings of the Blessed 
Virgin, or St. Michael, or the souls in purgatory, or of 
some Scripture subject. Innocence, guilt, and what is 
between the two, all range themselves under the same 
banners ; for even the resorts of sin will be made doubly 
frightful by the blasphemous introduction of some sainted 

You enter into one of the churches close upon the scene 
of festivity, and you turn your eyes to a confessional. 


The penitents are crowding for admission, and they seem 
to have no shame, or solemnity, or reserve about the 
errand on which they are come; till at length, on a 
penitent's turning from the grate, one tall woman, bolder 
than a score of men, darts forward from a distance into 
the place he has vacated, to the disappointment of the 
many who have waited longer than she. You almost 
groan under the weight of your imagination that such a 
soul, so selfish, so unrecollected, must surely be in very 
ill dispositions for so awful a sacrament. You look at the 
priest, and he has on his face a look almost of impa- 
tience, or of good-natured compassion, at the voluble and 
superfluous matter which is the staple of her confession. 
The priests, you think, are no better than the people. 
My dear brethren, be not so uncharitable, so unphiloso- 
phical. Things we thoroughly believe, things we see, 
things which occur to us every day, we treat as things 
which do occur and are seen daily, be they of this world 
or be they of the next. Even Bishop Butler should have 
taught you that "practical habits are strengthened by 
repeated acts, and passive impressions grow weaker by 
being repeated upon us." It is not by frames of mind, 
it is not by emotions, that we must judge of real religion ; 
it is the having a will and a heart set towards those 
things unseen ; and, though impatience and rudeness are 
to be subduedj and are faulty even in their minutest 
exhibitions, yet do not argue from them the absence 
of faith, nor yet of love or of contrition. You turn 
away half satisfied, and what do you see? There is a 
feeble old woman, who first genuflects before the Blessed 
Sacrament, and then steals her neighbour's handkerchief 
or prayer book, who is intent on his devotions. Here 
at last, you say, is a thing absolutely indefensible and 


inexcusable. Doubtless ; but what does it prove ? Does 
England bear no thieves? or do you think this poor creature 
an unbeliever? or do you exclaim against Catholicism, which 
has made her so profane ? But why ? Faith is illumina- 
tive not operative ; it does not force obedience, though it 
increases responsibility ; it heightens guilt, it does not pre- 
vent sin ; the will is the source of action, not an influence 
from without, acting mechanically on the feelings. She 
worships and she sins ; she kneels because she believes, 
she steals because she does not love ; she may be out of 
God's grace, she is not altogether out of His sight. 

You come out again and mix in the idle and dissipated 
throng, and you fall in with a man in a palmer s dress 
selling false relics, and a credulous circle of customers 
buying them as greedily as though they were the sup- 
posed French laces and India silks of a pedlar's basket. 
One simple soul has bought of him a cure for the 
rheumatism or ague, which might form a case of con- 
science. It is said to be a relic of St. Cuthbert, but 
only has virtue at sunrise, and when applied with three 
crosses to the head, arms, and feet. You pass on, and 
encounter a rude son of the Church, more like a show- 
man than a religious, recounting to the gaping multitude 
some tale of a vision of the invisible world, seen by 
Brother Augustine of the Friar Minors, or by a holy 
Jesuit preacher who died in the odour of sanctity, and 
sending round his bag to collect pence for the souls in 
purgatory ; and of some appearance of our Lady (the 
like of which has really been before and since), but on 
no authority except popular report, and in no shape 
but that which popular caprice has given it. You go 
forward, and you find preparations proceeding for a 
great pageant or mystery ; it is a high festival, and the 


incorporated trades have each undertaken their special 
religious celebration. The plumbers and glaziers are to 
play the Creation ; the barbers the Call of Abraham ; and 
at night is to be the grandest performance of all, the 
Resurrection and Last Judgment, played by the carpen- 
ters, masons, and blacksmiths. Heaven and hell are 
represented, — saints, devils, and living men ; and the 
chef (Tceuvre of the exhibition is the display of fireworks 
to be let off as the finale. "How unutterably profane !" 
again you cry. Yes, profane to you, my dear brother — 
profane to a population which only half believes ; not 
profane to those who believe wholly, who, one and all, 
have a vision within, which corresponds with what they see, 
which resolves itself into, or rather takes up into itself, 
the external pageant, whatever be the moral condition of 
each individual composing the mass. They gaze, and, in 
drinking in the exhibition with their eyes, they are 
making one continuous and intense act of faith. 

You turn to go home, and, in your way, you pass 
through a retired quarter of the city. Look up at those 
sacred windows ; they belong to the convent of the Per- 
petual Adoration, or to the poor Clares, or to the Carmel- 
ites of the reform of St. Theresa, or to the nuns of the 
Visitation. Seclusion, silence, watching, adoration, is 
their life day and night. The immaculate Lamb of God 
is ever before the eyes of the worshippers ; or at least 
the invisible mysteries of faith ever stand out, as if in 
bodily shape, before their mental gaze, \\liere will you 
find such a realized heaven upon earth ? Yet that very 
sight has acted otherwise on the mind of a weak sister; 
and the very keenness of her faith and wild desire of ap- 
proaching the object of it, has led her to fancy or to 
feign that she has received tliat singular favour vouch- 
safed only to a few elect souls ; and she points to God's 


wounds, as imprinted on her hands, and feet, and side, 
though she herself has been instrumental in their for- 

In these and a thousand other ways it may be shown, 
that that special character of a Catholic country, which 
offends you, my brethren, so much, that mixture of 
seriousness and levity, that familiar handling of sacred 
things, in word and deed, by good and bad, that publica- 
tion of religious thoughts and practices, so far as it is 
found, is the necessary consequence of its being Catholic. 
It is the consequence of mixed multitudes all having 
faith ; for faith impresses the mind with supernatural 
truths, as if it were sight, and the faith of this man, and 
the faith of that, is one and the same, and creates one 
and the same impression. The truths of religion then 
stand in the place of facts, and public ones. Sin does not 
obliterate the impression ; and did it begin to do so in par- 
ticular cases, the consistent testimony of all around would 
bring back the mind to itself, and prevent the incipient 
evil. Ordinarily speaking, once faith, always faith. Eyes 
once opened to good, as to evil, are not closed again ; and, 
if men reject the truth, it is, in most cases, a question 
whether they have ever possessed it. It is just the reverse 
among a Protestant people ; — private judgment does but 
create opinions, and nothing more ; and these opinions are 
peculiar to each individual, and different from those of any 
one else. Hence it leads men to keep their feelings to them- 
selves, because the avowal of them only causes irritation 
or ridicule in others. Since, too, they have no certainty 
of the doctrines they profess, they do but feel that they 
ought to believe them, and they try to believe them, and 
they nurse the offspring of their reason, as a sickly child, 
bringing it out of doors only on fine days. They feel 
very clear and quite satisfied, while they are very still ; 


but if they turn about their head, or change their posture 
ever so Httle, the vision of the Unseen, Hke a mirage, is 
gone from them. So they keep the exhibition of their 
faith for high days and great occasions, when it comes 
forth with sufficient pomp and gravity of language, and 
ceremonial of manner. Truths slowly totter out with 
Scripture texts at their elbow, as unable to walk alone. 
Moreover they know, if such and such things he true, 
what ought to be the voice, the tone, the gesture, and the 
carriage attendant upon them ; thus reason, which is the 
substance of their faith, supplies the rubrics, as I may 
call them, of their behaviour. This, some of you, my 
brethren, call reverence ; though, I am obliged to say, it 
is as much a mannerism, and an unpleasant mannerism, 
as that of the Evangelical party, which they have hitherto 
condemned. They condemn Catholics, because, however 
religious, they are natural, unaffected, easy and cheerful, 
in their mention of sacred things ; and they think them- 
selves never so real as when they are solemn. 

And now, my brethren, I will only observe, in con- 
clusion, how merciful a providence it has been, that faith 
and love are separable, as the Catholic creed teaches. I 
suppose it might be, as Luther said it was, had God so 
willed it, — that faith and love were so intimately one, that 
the abandonment of the latter was the forfeiture of the 
former. Now did sin not only throw the soul out of 
God's favour, but at once empty it of every supernatural 
principle, we should see in Catholics, what is, alas ! so 
common among Protestants, souls brought back to a sense 
of guilt, frightened at their state, yet having no resource, 
and nothing to build upon. Again and again it happens, 
that, after committing some sin greater than usual, or 
being roused after a course of sin, or frightened by sick^- 


ness, a Protestant wishes to repent ; but what is he to 
fall back upon ? whither is he to go ? what is he to do ? 
He has to dig and plant his foundation. Every step has 
to be learned, and all is in the dark ; he is to search and 
labour, and after all for an opinion. And then, supposing 
him to have made some progress, perhaps he is overcome 
again by temptation, he falls, and all is undone again. 
His doctrinal views vanish, and it can hardly be said that 
he believes any thing. But the Catholic knows just 
where he is, and what he has to do ; no time is lost, when 
compunction comes upon him ; but, while his feelings are 
fresh and keen, he can betake himself to the appointed 
means of cure. He may be ever falling, but his faith is 
a continual invitation and persuasive to repent. The 
poor Protestant adds sin to sin, and his best aspirations 
come to nothing ; the Catholic wipes off his guilt again 
and again ; and thus, even if his repentance does not 
endure, and he has not strength to persevere, in a certain 
sense he is never getting worse, but ever beginning afresh. 
Nor does the apparent easiness of pardon operate as an 
encouragement to sin ; unless repentance be easy, and the 
grace of repentance to be expected, when it has already 
been quenched, or unless past repentance avail, when it 
is not persevered in. 

And, above all, let death come suddenly upon him, and 
let him have the preparation of a poor hour ; what is the 
Protestant to do? He has nothing but sights of this 
world around him ; wife, and children, and friends, and 
worldly interests : the Catholic has these also, but the 
Protestant has nought but these. He may, indeed, in 
particular cases, have got firm hold of his party's view 
of justification or regeneration ; or it may be, he has a 
real apprehension of our Lord's divinity, which come? 


from divine grace. But I am speaking, not of the more 
serious portion of the community, but of the popular re- 
hgion ; and I wish you to take a man at random in one of 
our vast towns, and tell me, has he any supernatural idea 
before his mind at all ? The minutes hasten on ; and, 
having to learn every thing, supposing him desirous of 
learning, he can practise nothing. His thoughts rise up 
in some vague desire of mercy, which neither he nor the 
bystanders can analyze. He asks for some chapter of the 
Bible to be read to him, but rather as the expression of 
his horror and bewilderment, than as the token of his 
faith; and then his intellect becomes clouded, and he 
dies. How different is it with the Catholic ! He has 
within him almost a principle of recovery, certainly an 
instrument of it. He may have spoken lightly of the 
Almighty, but he has ever believed in Him ; he has sung 
jocose songs about the Blessed Virgin and Saints, and told 
good stories about the evil spirit, but in levity, not in con- 
tempt ; he has been angry with his heavenly patrons when 
things went ill with him, but with the waywardness of a 
child who is cross with his parents. They were ever before 
him, even when he was in the mire of mortal sin, and in 
the wrath of the Almighty, as lights burning in the 
firmament of his intellect, though he had no part with 
them, as he perfectly knew. He has absented himself 
from his Easter duties years out of number, but he never 
denied he was a Catholic. He has laughed at priests, 
and formed rash judgments of them, and slandered them 
to others, but not as doubting the divinity of their func- 
tion and the virtue of their ministrations. He has at- 
tended Mass carelessly and heartlessly, but he was ever 
aware what was before his eyes, under the veil of mate- 
rial symbols, in that august and adorable action. So, 


when the news comes to him 'that he is to die, and he 
cannot get a priest, and the ray of God's grace pierces 
his heart, and he. yearns after Him whom he has neg- 
lected, it is with no inarticulate confused emotion, which 
does but oppress him, and which has no means of relief. 
His thoughts at once take shape and order ; they mount 
up, each in its due place, to the great objects of faith, 
which are as surely in his mind as they are in heaven. 
He addresses himself to his crucifix ; he interests the 
Blessed Virgin in his behalf; he betakes himself to his 
patron Saints ; he calls his good angel to his side ; he 
professes his desire of that sacramental absolution which 
for circumstances he cannot obtain ; he exercises himself 
in acts of faith, hope, charity, contrition, resignation, and 
other virtues suitable to his extremity. True, he is 
going into the unseen world ; but true also, that that 
unseen world has already been with him here. True, he 
is going to a foreign, but not to a strange place ; judg- 
ment and purgatory are famihar ideas to him, more fully 
realized within him even than death. He has had a 
much deeper perception of purgatory, though it be a 
supernatural object, than of death, though a natural one. 
The enemy rushes on him, to overthrow the faith on 
which he is built ; but the whole tenor of his past life, 
his very jesting, and his very oaths, have been overruled, 
to create in him a habit of faith, girding round and pro- 
tecting the supernatural principle. And thus even one who 
has been a bad Catholic may have a hope in his death, to 
which the most virtuous of Protestants, nay, my dear 
brethren, the most correct and most thoughtful among 
yourselves, however able, or learned, or sagacious, if you 
have lived, not by faith, but by private judgment, are 
necessarily strangers. 



I AM going to-day to take notice of an objection to the 
claims of that great communion, into which, my brethren, 
I am inviting you, which to me sounds so feeble and un- 
worthy, that I am loth to take it for my subject ; for an 
answer, if corresponding, must be trifling and uninterest- 
ing also, and, if careful and exact, will be but a waste of 
effort. I therefore do not know what to do with it : treat 
it with respect I cannot ; yet since it is frequently, nay 
triumphantly, urged by those who wish to make the most 
of such difficulties as they can bring together against our 
claims, I do not like to pass it over. Bear with me then, 
my brethren, nay, I may say, sympathize with me, if you 
find that the subject is not one which is very fertile in 
profitable reflection. 

When then the variations of Protestantism, or the 
divisions in the Establishment, are urged as a reason for 
your distrusting the communion in which they are found, 
it is answered, that divisions as serious and as decided 
are to be found in the Catholic Church. It is a well- 

A a 


known point in controversy, to say that the Catholic 
Church has not real unity any more than Protestantism ; 
for if Lutherans are divided in creed from Calvinists, and 
both from Anghcans, and the various denominations of 
Dissenters each has its own doctrine and its own inter- 
pretation, yet Dominicans and Franciscans, Jesuits and 
Jansenists, have -had their quarrels too. Nay, that at 
this moment the greatest alienation, rivalry, and differ- 
ence of opinion exist in the Catholic priesthood, so that 
the Church is but nominally one, and her pretended 
unity resolves itself into nothing more specious than an 
awkward and imperfect uniformity. This is what is said ; 
and, I repeat, my answer to it cannot contain any thing 
either new or important, or even satisfactory to myself. 
However, since I must enter upon the subject, I must 
make the best of it ; so let me begin with an extract from 
Jewel's Apology, in which the objection is to be found. 

" Who are these," he says, "that find fault with dissen- 
sions among us? Are they all agreed among themselves? 
Hath every one of them determined, to his own satisfac- 
tion, what he should follow ? Have there been no differ- 
ences, no disputes amongst them ? Then why do not the 
Scotists and the Thomists come to a more perfect agree- 
ment touching merit of congruity and condignity, touch- 
ing original sin in the blessed Virgin, and the obligations 
of simple and solemn vows ? Why do the Canonists affirm 
auricular confession to be of human and positive, and the 
Schoolmen, on the contrary, maintain that it is of divine 
right ? Why does Albertus Pighius differ from Cajetan, 
Thomas Aquinas from Peter Lombard, Scotus from 
Thomas Aquinas, Occham from Scotus, Peter D''Ailly 
from Occham, the Nominalists from the Realists ? And, 
not to mention the infinite dissensions of the friars and 


monks, (how some of them place their holiness in the 
eating of fish, others in herbs ; some in wearing of shoes, 
others in sandals ; some in linen garments, others in 
woollen ; some go in white, some in black ; some are 
shaven broader, some narrower ; some shod, some bare- 
foot ; some girded, others ungirded,) they should remem- 
ber that some of their own adherents say, that the body 
of Christ is in the Lord's Supper naturally ; that others 
again, of their own party, teach the very reverse : that 
there are some who aflirm that the body of Christ in the 
Holy Communion is torn and ground with our teeth ; 
others again there are who deny it : that there are some 
who say that the body of Christ in the Eucharist hath 
quantity ; and others again deny it : that there are some 
who say that Christ consecrated the bread and wine by 
the especial putting forth of His divine power ; others, 
that He consecrated in the benediction : some, by the 
conceiving the five words in His mind ; others, by His 
uttering them : others there are who, in these five 
words, refer the demonstrative pronoun 'this' to the 
wheaten bread ; others, to what they call an indivi- 
duum vagum : some there are who afiirm that dogs 
and mice can verily and truly eat the body of Christ ; 
others there are who do not hesitate to deny it : some 
there are who say that the very accidents of the bread 
and wine give nourishment ; others, that the sub- 
stance of bread and wine returns after consecration. 
And why should we bring forward more ? It would be 
only tedious and burdensome to enumerate them all ; so 
unsettled and disputed is yet the whole form of these 
men's religion and doctrine, even among themselves, 
from whom it sprang and proceeded. For scarcely ever 
are they agreed together, unless, as of old, the Pharisees 

A a 2 


and Sadducees were, or Herod and Pilate, against 

It is equally common to insist upon the breaches of 
charity which are to be found among the members of the 
Catholic Church. For instance, Leslie says, " If you 
have not unity in faith, nor in those principles and prac- 
tices which are no less necessary to salvation, nor in that 
love and charity which Christ has made the character- 
istic of Christians, and without which no man can know 
who are His disciples ; but, instead of that, if you have 
envyings and strife among you, among your several reli- 
gious orders, betwixt National and National Church, 
concerning the infallibility and supremacy of the Pope, 
and of his power to depose princes, upon which the 
peace and unity of the world and our eternal salvation 
does depend ; and, in short, if you have no unity con- 
cerning your rule of faith itself, or of your practice, what 
will the unity of outward communion do, upon which you 
lay the whole stress ' ? *" Such is the retort, by which 
Protestants would shelter from our attack their own 
mutual differences and variations in matters of faith. 
They answer, that differences of religious opinion and 
that dissensions are found within the Catholic Church. 

Now I would have you observe, my brethren, that the 
very idea of the Catholic Church, as an instrument of 
supernatural grace, is that of an institution which inno- 
vates upon, or rather superadds to nature. She does 
something for nature, above, beyond, or against nature. 
When, then, it is said that she makes her members one, 
this implies that by nature they are not one, and would 
not be one. Viewed in themselves, the children of the 

1 Works, 1832, vol. iii. p. 171. 


Church are not of a different nature from the Protest- 
ants around them ; they are of the very same nature. 
What Protestants are, such would they be, but for the 
Church, which brings them together forcibly, and binds 
them into one by her authority. Left to himself, each 
Catholic likes and would maintain his own opinion and 
his private judgment just as much as a Protestant ; and 
he has it, and maintains it, just so far as the Church 
does not, by the authority of revelation, supersede it. 
The very moment the Church ceases to speak, at the very 
point at which she, that is, God who speaks by her, cir- 
cumscribes her range of teaching, there private judgment 
of necessity starts up ; there is nothing to hinder it. The 
intellect of man is active and independent ; he forms 
opinions about every thing ; he feels no deference for 
another''s opinion, except in proportion as he thinks that 
that other is more likely than he to be right ; and he 
never absolutely sacrifices his own opinion, except when 
he is sure that that other knows for certain. He is sure 
that God knows ; therefore he sacrifices his opinion to 
God speaking through His Church. But, from the nature 
of the case, there is nothing to hinder his having his own 
opinion, and expressing it, whenever the Church, the 
oracle of revelation, does not speak. But again, human 
nature likes, not only its own opinion, but its own way, 
and will have it whenever it can, except when hindered 
by physical or moral restraint. So far forth then, as the 
Church does not compel her children to do one and the 
same thing, (as, for instance, to abstain from work on 
Sunday and from flesh on Friday,) they will do different 
things ; and still more so when she actually allows or 
commissions them to act for themselves, gives to certain 
persons or bodies privileges and immunities, and recog- 


nizes them as centres of combination, under her autho- 
rity and within her pale. And further still, in all sub- 
jects and respects whatever, whether in that range of 
opinion and of action which the Church has claimed to 
herself, and where she has superseded what is private 
and individual, or, on the other hand, in those larger 
regions of thought and of conduct, as to which she has 
not spoken, though she might speak, the natural tendency 
of the children of the Church, as men, is to resist her 
authority. Each mind naturally is self-willed, self- 
dependent, self-opiniated ; and, except so far as grace has 
subdued it, its first impulse is one of rebeUion. Now this 
tendency, through the influence of grace, is not often 
exhibited in matters of faith ; for it would be incipient 
heresy, and would be contrary, if knowingly indulged, 
to the first element of Catholic duty ; but in matters of 
conduct, of ritual, of discipline, of politics, of social life, 
in the ten thousand questions which the Church has not 
formally answered, even though she has intimated her 
judgment, there is a constant rising of the human mind 
against the authority of the Church and of superiors, 
and that, in proportion as each individual is removed from 
perfection. For all these reasons, there ever has been, 
and ever will be, a vast exercise and realized product, 
partly praiseworthy, partly barely lawful, of private judg- 
ment within the Catholic Church. The freedom of the 
human mind is "in possession," and it meddles with every 
question, and wanders over heaven and earth, except so 
far as the authority of the divine word, as a superin- 
cumbent weight, presses it down, and restrains it within 

Now, the most obvious instance of this liberty or 
licence in the Church is that of nationality ; and I do not 


understand why it has not been urged in the controversy 
more prominently than the mere rivalry and party-spirit 
of monastic bodies. Yet what a vast assemblage of 
private feeling, judgment, taste, and tradition goes to 
make up the idea of nationality ! yet there it exists in 
the Church, because the Church has not been divinely 
instructed to forbid it, and it fights against the Church 
and the Church's objects, except where the Church 
authoritatively repels it. The Church is a preacher of 
peace, and nationality is the fruitful cause of quarrels far 
more sinful and destructive than the paper wars and 
rivalry of customs or precedents, which alone can pos- 
sibly exist between religious bodies. The Church grants 
to the magistrate the power of the sword, and the right 
o^ making war in a lawful quarrel, and nations abuse this 
prerogative to break up that unity of love which ought to 
exist in the baptized servants of a common Master, and 
to put to death by wholesale those whom they expect to 
live with for ever in heaven. This, I say, might be 
urged in controversy against Catholicism, as an extreme 
instance of the want of unity in the Church ; and yet, 
when properly considered, it is rather a special instance, 
I do not say of her unity, but of her uniting power. 
She fights the battle of unity, and she wins. Look 
through her history, and you cannot deny but she is the 
one great principle of unity and concord which the world 
has seen. In this day, I grant, scientific unions, free 
trade, railroads, and industrial exhibitions are put forward 
as a substitute for her influence ; with what success 
posterity will be able to judge ; but, as far as the course 
of history has yet proceeded, the Church is the only 
power that has wrestled, as with the concupiscence, so 
with the pride, irritability, selfishness, and self-love of 


human nature. Her annals present a series of victories 
over that human nature, which is the subject-matter of 
her operations ; and to object to her that she has an 
enemy to overcome surely would be a most perverse view 
of the case, and a most sophistical argument in con- 
troversy. The barbarian invaders of the empire were 
the enemies of the human race and of each other ; and 
to subdue and unite them, and to harness them, as it 
were, to her triumphal chariot by her look and by her 
voice, was an exploit of moral power, such as the world 
has never seen elsewhere. Such, too, was her continual 
arbitration between the fierce feudal monarchs of the 
middle ages ; which, though not always successful to the 
extent of her desire, exhibits her most signally in that her 
great and heavenly character of peacemaker, and vindi- 
cates for her the attribute, given her in the Creed, and 
envied her by her enemies, of being one. 

And here I cannot but allude to the subject which 
employed our attention yesterday ; for, be it for good or 
for bad, we then seemed to feel beyond contradiction, that 
one and the same character was to be found in all Catholic 
nations, in north and south, in the middle age and now. 
I repeat, I am not assuming that this common character 
is admirable and beautiful, or denying, (as far as this 
argument goes,) that it is despicable and offensive ; I only 
remind you that its identity every where was taken for 
granted ; and what was granted by us to our own preju- 
dice then, must be conceded to us in our favour now. Con- 
sidering the wide differences in nations and in times, it 
surely is very remarkable that the religious character, 
which the Catholic Church forms in her populations, is so 
identical as it is found to be. Can, indeed, there be a 
more marvellous, or even awful, instance of her real 



internal unity, than that modern Naples should be like 
medieval England ? and if we do not see the same cha- 
racter more than partially developed in Ireland at this 
moment, is not this the plain reason, that the nation has 
been worn down by oppression, not allowed to be joyous, 
not allowed to be natural, as little capable of exhibiting 
human nature in a Oathohc medium, as primitive Chris- 
tianity while it lived in the catacombs ? 

After considerations such as these, I own I can scarcely 
treat seriously the earnestness with which Protestant 
controversialists would call me back to contemplate the 
quarrels and jealousies of seculars and regulars, among 
themselves or with each other ; as if the human mind 
were not at all times, so far as it is left to itself, selfish 
and exclusive, and especially in the various circumstances 
under which it is found in a far-spreading pohty or asso- 
ciation. When Catholics in any country are poor or few, 
each religious body, each college, each priest, is tempted to 
do his utmost for himself, at the expense of every one else. 
I do not mean for his temporal interests, for he has not 
the temptation, but for the interests of his own mission 
and place, and of his own people. He has to build his 
chapel, to support his school, to feed his poor ; and if his 
next-door neighbour gets the start of him, no means will 
be left for himself. Or if he is of a mendicant order, he 
feels he has a claim on the alms of the faithful, prior to 
a religious body which lives on endowments or has other 
property ; but the latter has lately come to the country, 
and thinks it very fair, on its first start, once for all to 
make a general appeal, without which it never will be able 
to got afloat. All parties, then, are naturally led to look 
out for themselves in the first instance ; and this state of 
mind may easily degenerate into a jealousy of the good 


fortune or prosperity of others. And then again, some 
men, or races of men, are more sudden in their tempers 
than others, or individuals may be deficient in moral 
training or refinement, and strangers may mistake for a 
real dissension what is nothing more than momentary 
and transitory collision. 

Or again, let the country be Catholic, and the Church 
rich ; then, what so natural, so inevitable, taking men as 
they are, as that large and widely-spread and powerful 
congregations or orders, high in repute, commanding in 
station, famous in historical memories, rich in saints, 
proud of their doctors and . of schools founded on their 
tradition, should be exposed to the various infirmities of 
party-spirit, adhere sensitively and obstinately to the 
privileges they possess, or to the doctrines which have 
been their watchwords, disparage others and wish to 
overbear them, and provoke the interposition of authority 
to put an end to the disputes which they have excited ? 
I should be curious to know whether there ever was a 
case when two Protestant sects or parties found any 
umpire at all in a question of opinion, except, indeed, the 
strong arm of the law. And, in saying all this, I am not 
determining the fact of such quarrels among Catholics, 
or the degree to which they proceed ; for, as in former 
Lectures, I am not concerned with the investigation of 
facts ; I am taking for granted what is alleged by our 
opponents, and is antecedently probable, taking human 
nature as it is. But, in truth, you might far better 
allude to the esprit de corps and rivalries of separate 
colleges in the national seats of learning as a proof of 
disunion between them, and assert that the university is 
not one, and does not act as one, because its colleges 
differ, than assert it of any of those religious bodies, 


established and sanctioned by the Catholic Church. The 
very same parties, who have their domestic feuds with 
one another, will defend their common faith or common 
Mother against an external foe ; but when did the 
Bishops of the Establishment ever stand by the Friends 
or the Independents, or the Wesleyans by the Baptists, 
on any one point of doctrine, with a unity of opinion, 
intelligent, positive, and exact? You recollect the 
popular story, which is intended to exemplify the supre- 
macy of the instinct of benevolence over religious opinion. 
It is supposed to be one o'clock on Sunday, and a number 
of congregations are pouring out, their devotions being 
over, from their respective chapels and meeting-houses, 
when a woman is taken ill in the street. The sight of 
this physical calamity is sufficient to supersede all other 
considerations in the minds of the beholders, and to bind 
together for the moment the most bitter opponents in the 
common work of Christian charity. The argument is 
based upon the assumption, and a very reasonable one, 
that the differences which exist between man and man in 
religious matters, far from disproving, do but illustrate 
and confirm the fact of the participation of all men in a 
certain natural sentiment ; and surely the case is the 
same as regards the differences and the unanimity of the 
religious bodies in the Catholic Church. Augustinians, 
Dominicans, Franciscans, Jesuits, and Carmelites have 
indeed their respective homes and schools ; but they have, 
in spite of that, a common school and a common home in 
their Mother's voice and their Mother's bosom ; " omnes 
omnium caritates patria una complexa est;" but Pro- 
testants can but " agree to differ." Quarrels, stopping 
short of division, do but prove the strength of the 
principle of combination ; they are a token not of the 


languor but of the vigour of its life. Surely this is what 
we see and say daily as regards the working of the British 

But we have not yet got to the real point of the 
question which lies before us : you allege these differences 
in the Catholic Church, my brethren, as a reason for not 
submitting to her authority. Now, in order to ascertain 
their force in this point of view, let it be considered that 
the primary question, with every serious inquirer, is the 
question of salvation. I am speaking to those who feel 
this to be so ; not to those who make religion a sort of 
literature or philosophy, but to those who desire, both in 
their creed and in their conduct, to approve themselves to 
their Maker and to save their souls. This being taken 
for granted, it immediately follows to ask, " What must 
I do to be saved?" and " who is to teach me?" and next, 
can Protestantism, can the National Church teach me ? 
No, is the answer of common sense, for this simple reason, 
because of the variations and discordances in teaching 
of both the one and the other. The National Church is 
no guide into the truth, because no one knows what it 
holds and what it commands : one party says this, and a 
second party says that, and a third says neither this nor 
that. I must seek the truth then elsewhere ; and then 
the question follows. Shall I seek it in the communion of 
Rome I In answer, this objection is instantly made, 
" You cannot find the truth in Rome, for there are as 
many divisions there as in the national communion." 
Who would not suppose the objection to mean, that these 
divisions were such as to make it difficult or impossible to 
ascertain what it was that the Roman communion taught ? 
Who would not suppose that there was within it a 
difference of creed and of dogmatic teaching? whereas 


the state of the case is just the reverse. No one can 
pretend that the quarrels in the Catholic Church are 
questions of faith, or have tended in any way to obscure or 
impair what she declares to be such, and what is acknow- 
ledged to be such by the very parties in those quarrels. 
That Dominicans and Franciscans have been zealous 
respectively for certain doctrinal views, over and above 
the declared faith of the Church, throws no doubt upon 
that faith ; how does it follow that they differ in questions 
of faith, because they differ in questions not of faith ? 
Eather, I would say, if a number of parties, distinct 
from each other, give the same testimony, their differences 
do but strengthen the evidence for the truth of those 
matters in which they all are agreed ; and the greater the 
difference the more remarkable is the unanimity. The 
question is, " Where can I be taught, who cannot be 
taught by the national communion, because it does not 
teach?" and the Protestant warning runs, " Not in the 
Cathohc Church, because she, in spite of all subordinate 
differences among her members, does teach." 

In truth, she not only teaches in spite of those differ- 
ences, but she has ever taught by means of them. Those 
very differences on further points have themselves im- 
phed and brought out their absolute faith in the doc- 
trines which are previous to them. The doctrines of 
faith are the common basis of the combatants, the 
ground on which they contend, their ultimate authority, 
and their arbitrating rule. They are assumed, and intro- 
duced, and commented on, and enforced, in every stage 
of the alternate disputation ; and I will venture to say, 
that, if you wish to get a good view of the unity, con- 
sistency, solidity, and reality of Catholic teaching, your 
best way is to get up the controversy on grace, or on the 
Immaculate Conception. No one can do so without ac- 



quiring a mass of theological knowledge, and sinking in 
his intellect a foundation of dogmatic truth, which is 
simply antecedent and common to the rival schools, and 
which they do but exhibit and elucidate. To suppose that 
they perplex an inquirer or a convert, is to fancy that liti- 
gation destroys the principles and the science of law, or 
that spelling out words of five syllables makes a child 
forget his alphabet. On the other hand, place your un- 
fortunate inquirer between Luther and Calvin, if the 
Holy Eucharist is his subject ; or, if he is determining 
the rule of faith, between Bramhall and Ohillingworth, 
Bull and Hoadley, and what residuum will be left, when 
you have eliminated the contrarieties ? 

It is imprudent in opponents to the Catholic religion 
to choose for their attack the very point in which it is 
strong. As truth is tried by error, virtue by tempta- 
tion, courage by opposition, so is individuality and life by 
disturbance and disorder ; and its trial is its evidence. 
The long history of Catholicism is but a co-ordinate 
proof of its essential unity. I suppose, then, that Pro- 
testants must be considered as turning to bay upon their 
pursuers, when they would retort upon us the argument 
available against them from their religious variations. 
" The Romanist must admit," it has been urged, " that 
the state, whether of the Church Catholic or of the 
Roman Church, at periods before or during the middle 
ages, was such as to bear a very strong resemblance to 
the picture he draws of our own. I do not speak of cor- 
ruptions in life and morals merely, or errors of indivi- 
duals, however highly exalted, but of the general disor- 
ganized and schismatical state of the Church, her prac- 
tical abandonment of her spiritual pretensions, the tyranny 
exercised over her by the civil power, and the intimate 
adherence of the worst passions, and of circumstantial 



irregularities to those acts which are vital portions of her 
system ^" Such is the imputation ; but yet, to tell the 
truth, I do not know any passages in her history which 
supply so awful an evidence of her unity and self-depend- 
ence, or so luminous a contrast to Anglicanism or other 
Protestantism, as these very anomalies in the rule and 
tenor of her course, as I have already observed, and shall 
presently show by examples. 

Two years back, when European society was shaken 
to its basis, the question which came before us was, not 
whether this or that nation was great, and powerful, and 
able, in case of necessity, to go to war with vigour and 
effect, but whether it could hold together, whether it 
possessed that internal consistency, reality, and life, 
which made it one. This was the question asked even 
about England ; it was a problem, debated before it 
could be tried, settled distinctly in the affirmative, when 
a trial was granted. Much as we might have confided 
in the steadiness of character, good sense, reverence for 
law, contentment, and political discipline of our people, 
we shall admit that there was an evidence laid before the 
world of our national stability, after April, 3 848, to 
which no mere anticipation was equivalent. No one can 
deny, that, fully as we may be impressed with the secu- 
rity of Russia, still we have not that vivid impression on 
our mind, almost on our senses, of the fact, created by 
the threat and the failure of a political rising in England 
at the date I have mentioned. And sometimes the 
longer is the trial, and the more critical the contest, 
as in the instance of the civil discords of ancient Rome, 
the greater vigour and the more obstinate life is exhibited 

' Proph, Off. p. 408. 



by the nation and state, when once it is undeniably victo- 
rious. As external enemies do not prove a state to be 
weak till they prevail over it, so rebellions from within 
may but prove its strength, if they are smitten down and 
extinguished. Now the disorders which had afflicted the 
Church have just had this office assigned them in the 
designs of Providence, and teach us this lesson. They 
have but assayed what may be called the active unity 
and integrating virtue of the see of St. Peter, in contrast 
to such counterfeits as the Anglican Church, which, set 
up in unconditional surrender to the nation, has never 
been able to resist the tyranny or caprice of the national 
will. The Establishment, having no internal principle 
of individuality, except what it borrows from the nation, 
can neither expel what is foreign to it, nor heal its 
wounds ; the Church, a living body, when she becomes 
the seat of a malady or disorder, tends from the first to 
the eradication of it, which is but a matter of time. 
This great fact, continually occurring in her history, I 
will briefly illustrate by two examples, which will be the 
fairest to take, from the extraordinary obstinacy of the 
evil, and its occasional promise of victory ; — the history 
of the heresies concerning the Incarnation, and the his- 
tory of Jansenism. Each controversy had reference to 
a great mystery of the faith ; in each every inch of the 
ground was contested, and the enemy retired step by 
step, or at least from post to post : the former of the 
two lasted for between four and five hundred years, and 
the latter nearly two hundred. 

As to the doctrine of the Incarnation, the mind of 
man is naturally impatient of whatever it cannot reduce 
to the system of order and of causation to which it 
subjects all its knowledge ; that is, of whatever is myste- 



rious and incomprehensible : no wonder, then, that it was 
discontented with a doctrine so utterly impossible to 
fathom as that the Almighty and Eternal became man. 
As private judgment is ever rising up against revelation, 
as the irascible or the concupiscible principle is ever in- 
surgent against reason, so there was a most determined 
effort, and (to use a familiar word) set against this 
capital and vital article of faith, age after age, on the 
part of various schools of opinion all over Christendom. 
They differed, and indeed were almost indifferent, how 
the mystery was to be disposed of ; they took up oppo- 
site theories ; they were antagonists to each other : but 
go it must. The attack came upon the Church, not on 
this side or that, but from all quarters at once, or succes- 
sively, whether in the field of speculation or in the terri- 
tory of the Church, and circled round the Holy See, rally- 
ing and forming again and again in very various posi- 
tions, though beaten back for a time, and apparently 
brought under. It was a very difficult fight ; and, till 
the end appeared, which was not till after many genera- 
tions, it had been easy to indulge misgivings whether it 
would ever have an ending. Let us fancy an erudite 
Nestorian of the day living in Seleucia, beyond the limits 
of the Roman empire, and looking out over the Euphrates 
upon the battle which was waging between the See of 
St. Peter and the subtle heresy of the Monophysites, 
through so protracted a period ; and let him write a de- 
fence of his own Communion for the use of theological 
students. Doubtless he would have used that long contest 
as a decisive argument against the unity and purity of 
the Catholic Church, and would have anticipated the 
triumphant words of a learned Anglican divine, rashly 
uttered in 1838, and prudently recalled in 1842, with 



reference to that Jansenistic controversy, which I reserve 
for my second example. " This very [Monophysite] 
heresy," he would have said, " has, in opposition to all 
these anathemas and condemnations, and, in spite of the 
persecution of the temporal powers, continued to exist for 
nearly [300] years ; and, what is more, it has existed all 
along in the very heart of the Eoman Church itself. Yes, 
it has perpetuated itself in all parts of that Church, some- 
times covertly, sometimes openly, exciting uneasiness, 
tumults, innovations, reforms, persecutions, schisms, but 
always adhering to the Roman communion with invincible 
tenacity. It is in vain that, sensible of so great an evil, 
the Roman Church struggles and resorts to every expe- 
dient to free herself from its presence ; the loathed and 
abhorred heresy perpetuates itself in her vitals, and in- 
fects her bishops, her priests, her monks, her universi- 
ties; and, depressed for a time by the arm of civil 
power, gains the ascendancy at length, influences the 
counsels of kings, .... produces religious innovations 
of the most extraordinary character, and inflicts infinite 
and permanent injury and disgrace on the cause of the 
Roman Church^." 

Such was the phenomenon which Monophysites had 
presented, above a thousand years before the rise of a 
heresy, which this author seems to have fancied the 
first instance of such an anomaly. The controversy 
began amid the flourishing schools of Syria, the most 
learned quarter of Christendom ; it extended along Asia 
Minor to Greece and Constantinople ; and then there 
was a pause. Suddenly it broke out in an apparently 
dissimilar shape, and with a new beginning, in the impe- 
rial city ; summoned its adherents, confederates, and par- 

* Palmei''s Essay ou the Church, vol. i. p. 320. 



tisans from North to South, came into collision with the 
Holy See, and convulsed the Catholic world. Subdued 
for a while, it returned to what was very like its original 
form and features, and reared its head in Egypt with a far 
more plausible phraseology, and in a far more promising 
position. There, and in Syria, and thence through the 
whole of the East, supported by the emperors, and after- 
wards by the Mahometans, it sustained itself with great 
ingenuity, inventing evasion after evasion, and throwing 
itself into more and more subtle formulas, for the space 
of near three hundred years. Lastly, it suddenly ap- 
peared in a new shape and in a final effort, four hundred 
years from the time of its first rise, in the extreme West 
of Europe, among the theologians of Spain ; and formed 
matter of controversy for our own Alcuin, the scholar of 
St. Bede, for the interposition of Charlemagne, and the 
labours of the great Council of Frankfort. It is impos- 
sible, I am sure, for any one patiently to read the history 
of this series of controversies, whatever may be his per- 
sonal opinions, without being intimately convinced of the 
oneness or identity of the mind, which lived in the Catho- 
lic Church through that long period ; which baffled the 
artifices and sophistries of the subtlest intellects, was 
proof against fear, despondency, and temporal expe- 
dience, and succeeded in establishing irrevocably and for 
ever those points of faith with which she started in the 
contest. " Any one false step," it has been said, " would 
have thrown the whole theory of the doctrine into irre- 
trievable confusion ; but it was as if some one individual 
and perspicacious intellect, to speak humanly, ruled the 
theological discussion from first to last. That in the long 
course of centuries, and in spite of the ' apparent' failure, 
in points of detail, of the most gifted fathers and saints, 
the Church thus wrought out the one and only consistent 


theory which can be formed on the great doctrine in dis- 
pute, proves how clear, simple, and exact her vision of 
that doctrine was *." Now I leave the retrospect of this 
long struggle with two remarks ; — first, that it was never 
doubtful to the world, for any long time, what was the de- 
cision of authority on each successive question as it came 
into consideration ; next, that the series of doctrinal 
errors which was evolved, tended from the first to an 
utter overthrow, each decision of authority being a new 
and further victory over it, which was never undone. It 
was all along in visible course of expulsion from the Ca- 
tholic fold. Contrast this with the denial of baptismal 
grace, viewed as a heresy within the Anglican Church ; 
has the sentiment of authority against it always been 
unquestionable ? Has there been a series of victories over 
it ? Is it in visible course of expulsion ? Is it ever tending 
to be expelled ? Are the influence and the prospects of 
the heresy less formidable now than in the age of Wesley, 
or of Calamy, or of Baxter, or of Abbot, or of Cartwright, 
or of the Reformers ? 

The second controversy which I shall mention is one 
not so remarkable in itself, not so wide in its field of con- 
flict, nor so terrible in its events, but more interesting 
perhaps to us, as relating almost to our own times, and 
as used as an argument against the Church''s unity and 
power of enforcing her decisions, by such writers as 
the theologian, of whose words I have already availed 
myself. For the better part of two centuries Jansenism 
has troubled the greater part of Catholic Europe, has 
had great successes, and has expected greater still ; yet, 
somehow or other, such is the fact, as a looker-on would 
be obliged to say, whatever be its internal reasons, of 
which he would not be a judge, at the end of the time 
* Essay on Development, p. 448. 


you look for it and it is gone. As fire among the stubble 
threatens great things, but suddenly is quenched in the 
very fulness of its blaze, so has it been with the heresy in 
question. One might have thought that an age like this 
had been especially favourable for the development of many 
of its peculiarities ; one never should be surprised if it 
developed them. The heresy almost rose with Protest- 
antism, and kept pace with it ; it extended and flourished 
in those Catholic countries on which Protestantism had 
made its greatest inroads, and it grew and grew by the 
side of Protestantism ; when suddenly it is found dead in 
France, and it receives its death-blow in Austria, in the 
very generation, at the very hour, when Protestantism 
is at length getting acknowledged possession of the far- 
famed communion of Laud and Hammond. 

There was a time when nearly all that was most 
gifted, learned, and earnest in France, seemed corrupted 
by the heresy ; which, though condemned again and 
again by the Holy See, discovered new subterfuges, and 
gained to itself fresh patrons and protectors, to shelter 
it from the Apostolic ban. What circle of names can 
be produced, comparable in their times for the com- 
bination of ability and virtue, of depth of thought, 
of controversial dexterity, of poetical talent, of exten- 
sive learning, and of religious profession with those 
of Launoy, Pascal, Nicole, Arnauld, Racine, Tille- 
mont, Quesnel, and their co-religionists, admirable in 
every point, but in their deficiency in the primary grace 
of a creature, humility 1 What shall we say to the pros- 
pects of a school of opinion, which was influencing so 
many of the most distinguished Congregations of the 
day ; and which, though nobly withstood by the Society 
of Jesus and the Sulpicians, yet at length found an en- 
trance among the learned Benedictines of St. Maur, and 


had already sapped the faith of various members of another 
body, as erudite and as gifted as they ? For fifteen years 
a Cardinal Archbishop of Paris was its protector and 
leader, and this at a distance of sixty years after its 
formal condemnation. First, the book itself of Janse- 
nius had been condemned ; and then, in consequence of 
an evasion, the sense of the book ; and then a contro- 
versy arose whether the Church could decide such a 
matter of fact as that a book liad a particular sense. 
And then the further question came into discussion, 
whether the sense was to be condemned with the mere 
intention of an external obedience, or with an internal 
assent. Eleven bishops of France interposed with the 
Pope to prevent the condemnation ; there were four who 
required nothing more of their clergy than a respectful 
silence on the subject in controversy; and nineteen 
wrote to the Pope in favour of these four. Before these 
difficulties had been settled, a fresh preacher of the same 
doctrines appeared in the person of Quesnel ; and on the 
Pope's condemning his opinions in the famous bull Uni- 
genitus, six bishops refused to publish it, and fourteen 
formally opposed it; and then sixteen suspended the 
effects of it. Three universities took part with them, and 
the parliaments of various towns banished their Arch- 
bishops, Bishops, or Priests, and confiscated their goods, 
either for taking part against the Jansenists or refusing 
them the Sacraments *. 

As time went on, the evil spread wider and grew more 
intense, instead of being relieved. In the middle of last 
century, a hundred years after the condemnation of the 
heresy at Rome, it was embodied in the person of a far 
more efficacious disputant than Jansenius or Quesnel. 
The Emperor Joseph developed the apparently harmless 

* Vide M^moires pour servir, &c. and Palmer on the Church. 


theories of a theological school in the practical form of 
Erastianism. He prohibited the reception of the famous 
bull Unigenitus in his dominions ; subjected all bulls, re- 
scripts, and briefs from Eome to an imperial supervision ; 
forbade religious orders to obey foreign superiors ; " sup- 
pressed confraternities, abolished the processions, re- 
trenched festivals, prescribed the order of offices, regu- 
lated the ceremonies, the number of masses, the manner 
of giving benediction, nay the number of waxlights ^" 
He seized the revenues of the bishops, destroyed their 
sees, and even for a time forbade them to confer orders. 
He permitted divorce in certain cases, and removed images 
from the churches. The new Reformation reached as far 
as Belgium on the one hand, and down to Naples on the 
other. The whole of the Empire and its alliances were ap- 
parently on the point of disowning their dependence on the 
Apostolic See. The worship of the saints, auricular con- 
fession, indulgences, and other Catholic doctrines, were 
openly written against or disputed by bishops and pro- 
fessors. The Archduke of Tuscany, imitating the Em- 
peror, sent catechisms to the bishops, and instructed 
them in his circulars or charges; while a Neapolitan 
prelate, instead of his ordinary title of " Bishop by the 
grace of the Holy Apostolic See," styled himself " Bishop 
by the grace of the king." Who would not have thought 
that Henry of England had risen from his place, and 
was at once in Vienna, Belgium, Tuscany, and Naples ? 
The reforming views had spread into Portugal ; and, to 
complete the crisis, the great antagonist of Protest- 
antism, which was born with it in one day, and had ever 
since been the best champion of the Holy See, the Society 
of Jesus itself, by the inscrutable fiat of Providence, is, 

^ Meraoires pour servir, &c. 

C C 


ill that hour of need, to avoid worse evils, by that very 
See suppressed. Surely the holy Roman Church is at 
length in the agonies of dissolution. The Catholic 
powers, Germany, France, Portugal, and Naples, all 
have turned against her. Who is to defend her l 
The mystery of Protestantism is unravelled ; the day 
of Luther is come; the Catholics send up a cry, and 
their enemies a shout of joy. 

Fret not thyself. Is it not written in the book of 
truth, that the ungodly shall spread abroad like a green 
bay-tree, and then shall wither ? that the adversary 
reaches out his hand towards his prey, and then is 
smitten ? " Yet a little while, and the wicked shall not 
be : I passed by, and lo ! he was not ; I sought him, 
and his place was not found. Better is a little to the 
just than the great riches of the wicked ; for the arms 
of the wicked shall be broken, but the Lord strengtheneth 
the just." So was it with the great Arian heresy, which 
the civil power would fain have forced upon the Church, 
and it fell to pieces, and the Church remained one. So 
was it with Nestorius, with Eutyches, with the Image- 
breakers, with Manichees, with Lollards, with Protest- 
ants, into whom the State would put life, but who, one 
and all, refused to live. So is it with the communion of 
Cranmer and Parker, which is kept together only by the 
heavy hand of the State, and cannot aspire to be free 
without ceasing to be one. One power alone on earth 
has the gift and destiny of ever being one. It has been 
so of old time ; surely so will it be now. Man's necessity 
is God's opportunity. Noli mmulari, " Be not jealous." 
... It is towards the end of the century : what shall be ere 
that end arrive ? . . . Suddenly there is heard a rushing 
noise, borne north and south upon the wings of the wind. 



Is it a deluge to sweep over the earth, and to bear up the 
ark of God upon its bosom? or is it the fire which is 
ravaging to and fro, to try every man's work what it is, 
and to discriminate between what is of earth and what is 
of heaven ? Now we shall see what can live and what 
must die ; now shall we have the proof of Jansenism ; 
now shall we see whether the Catholic Church has that 
internal individuality which is of the essence of life, or 
whether it be an external thing, a birth of the four 
elements, a being of chance and circumstance, made up 
of parts, but with no integrity or immaterial principle 
stamped upon it. The breath of the Lord is gone far 
and wide upon the face of the earth ; the very foundations 
of society are melting in the fiery flood which it has 
kindled; and we shall see whether the three children 
will be able to walk in the midst of the furnace, and will 
come forth with their hair unsinged, their garments whole, 
and their skin untainted by the smell of fire. 

So closed the last century upon the wondering world, 
and for years it wondered on ; wondered what should be 
the issue of the awful portent which it witnessed, and 
what new state of things was to rise out of the old. The 
Church disappeared before its eyes as by a yawning 
earthquake, and men said it was a fulfilment of the pro- 
phecies, and they sang a hymn, and went to their long 
sleep, content and with a Nunc Dimittis in their mouths ; 
for now at length had an old superstition been wiped off 
from the earth, and the Pope had gone his way. And 
other powers, kings, and the like, disappeared too, and 
nothing was to be seen. 

Fifty years have passed away since the time of those 
wonders, and we, my brethren, behold in our degree the 
issue of what our fathers could but imagine. Great 
changes surely have been wrought, but not those which 


they anticipated. The German Emperor has ceased to 
be ; he persecuted the Church, and he has lost his place 
of pre-eminence. The Gallican Church, too, with its 
much-prized liberties, and its fostered heresy, was also 
swept away, and its time-honoured establishment dis- 
solved. Jansenism is no more. The Church lives, the 
Apostolic See rules. That See has greater acknowledged 
power in the Church than ever before, and that Church 
has a wider liberty than she has had since the days of 
the Apostles. The faith is extending in the great Anglo- 
Saxon race, its recent enemy, the lord of the world, with 
a steadiness and energy, which that proud people fears, 
yet cannot resist. Out of the ashes of the ancient 
Church of France has sprung a new hierarchy, worthy of 
the name and the history of that great nation, as fervent 
as their St. Bernard, and as tender as their St. Francis, 
and as enterprising as their St. Louis, and as loyal to the 
Holy See as their Charlemagne. The Empire has rescinded 
the impious regulations of the Emperor Joseph, and has 
commenced the emancipation of the Church. The idea 
and the genius of Catholicism has triumphed within its 
own pale with a power and a completeness which the world 
has never seen before. Never was the whole body of the 
faithful so united to each other and to their head. Never 
was there a time when there was less of error, heresy, 
and schismatical perverseness among them. Of course 
the time will never be in this world, when trials and 
persecutions shall be at an end ; and doubtless such are 
to come, even though they be below the horizon. But 
we may be thankful and joyful for what is already granted 
us, and nothing which is to be can destroy the mercies 
which have been. 

" So let all Thy enemies perish, O Lord ; but let them 
that love Thee, shine, as the sun shineth in his rising ! " 



There is no objection made at this time to the claims 
of the CathoHc Church more imposing to the imagina- 
tion, yet less tenable in the judgment of reason, than 
that which is grounded on there being at present so 
many nations and races, which have kept the name of 
Christian, yet given up Catholicism. If fecundity has ever 
been considered one of the formal notes or tokens of the 
Mother of souls, it is fair to look out for it now ; and, 
if it has told in favour of the communion of Rome in 
former times, so now it must surely be allowed to tell 
against it. It would seem as if in this age of the world 
the whole number of anti-Catholics were nearly equal to 
the number of Catholics, at least so our opponents say ; 
and I am wiUing, for argument's sake, to grant it, though 
I am very far from thinking the fact is so myself. 
But let it be so, or, in other words, let it be assumed 
that scarcely more than half of Christendom subjects 
itself to the Catholic Church. " Is it not preposterous, 
then," it is asked of us, " to claim to be the whole, when 



you are but a moiety ? And with what countenance can 
you demand that we should unhesitatingly and without 
delay leave our own communion for yours, when there is 
so little to show at first sight that you have more pre- 
tensions to the Christian name than we V 

This is the argument, put in its broadest, simplest 
shape, and you, my brethren, would like to avail your- 
selves of it just as I have stated it, if you could. But 
you cannot ; for it puts together all creeds and opinions, 
all communions, whatever their origin and history, and 
adds up the number of their members in rivalry of that 
of the Church''s children. You would do so if you could, 
as your forefathers did before you : two centuries ago 
Archbishop Brarahall did so ; and you have every good 
wish to copy him, as in his other representations, so in 
this. " We hold coramunion," he says, speaking of the 
Church of England in contrast with those whom he 
would call Romanists, " with thrice so many Catholic 
Christians as they do ; that is, the eastern, southern, 
and northern Christians, besides Protestants \" " Divide 
Christendom into five parts, and in four of them they 
have very little or nothing to do. Perhaps they have 
here a monastery, or there a small handful of proselytes ; 
but what are five or six persons to so many millions of 
Christian souls, that they should be Catholics, and not all 
the others T' This being the case, as he views the 
matter, it of course follows that we are but successors 
of the ancient Donatists, a mere fraction of the Church 
excommunicating all the rest. " The Donatists,"" he 
says, " separated the whole Catholic Church from their 
communion, and substituted themselves, being but a 

1 Vol. i. p. 628. Ed. 1842. " Ibid. p. 268. 


small part of the Christian world, in the place of the 
Catholic Church; just as the Romanists do at this day*." 
This certainly was turning the tables against his oppo- 
nents, who had been accustomed to consider that the 
Church of England, granting it was a Church, was in 
the very position of the followers of Donatus ; but let us 
observe what he is forced to do to make his argument 
good. First, of course, he throws himself into com- 
munion, whether they will have him or not, not only 
with the Greek Church, but with the various heretical 
bodies all over the East ; the Nestorians of Chaldsea, the 
Copts of Egj'pt, the Jacobites of Syria, and the Eutychians 
of Armenia, whose heresy in consequence he finds it most 
expedient to doubt. " Those Churches," he says, speak- 
ing of the East, " do agree better, both among them- 
selves and with other Churches, than the Roman Church 
itself; both in profession of faith, for they and we do 
generally acknowledge the same ancient creeds, and no 
other, and in inferior questions, being free from the in- 
tricate and perplexed difficulties of the Roman schools 
.... How are they 'heretical"* Churches? Some of 
them are called Nestorians ; but most injuriously, who 
have nothing of Nestorians but the name. Others have 
been suspected of Eutychianism, and yet in truth ortho- 
dox enough It is no new thing for great quar- 
rels to arise from mere mistakes *." Elsewhere he says : 
"It is true that some few Eastern Christians, in com- 
parison of those innumerable multitudes, are called Nes- 
torians, and some others, by reason of some unusual ex- 
pressions, suspected of Eutychianism, but both most 
wrongfully. Is this the requital that he," that is, his 

» Ibid. p. 106. ♦ Ibid. p. 260. 



Catholic opponent, "makes to so many of these poor 
Christians, for maintaining their rehgion inviolated so 
many ages under Mahometan princes * V 

Admitting, as he does, these ancient and distant 
sectaries to have a portion in the CathoHc faith and com- 
munion, it is not surprising that he extends a Hke privi- 
lege to the recently-formed Protestant communities in 
his own neighbourhood. " Because I esteem these 
Churches not completely formed," he says, " do I there- 
fore exclude them from all hope of salvation 2 or esteem 
them aliens and strangers from the commonwealth of 
Israel I or account them formal schismatics ? No such 
thing *." " I know no reason why we should not admit 
Greeks and Lutherans to our communion ; and (if he," 
that is, his opponent, " had added them), Armenians, 
Abyssenes, Muscovites ^ . . . For the Lutherans, he does 
them egregious wrong. Throughout the kingdoms of 
Denmark and Sweden they have their bishops, name 
and thing; and throughout Germany they have their 
superintendents *." 

Such was the line of argument which the defenders 
of the National Church adopted two centuries back ; and 
of course it was much stronger in the way of argument 
than any thing which is attempted now. Now the Pro- 
testants are given up : we hear little or nothing of 
" Churches not completely formed ;" not much account 

5 Ibid. p. 328. « Ibid. p. 70. 

'' He adds : " and all those who do profess the Apostolical Creed, as it 
is expounded in the first four general councils under the primitive disci- 
pline." These words are not quoted above, because they are certainly 
ambiguous. Bramhall does not say "all those who do subscribe the 
decrees of the first four general councils." 

« Ibid. p. 56*4. 


is taken of the " superintendents" of Germany ; and as 
to the episcopacy of Denmark and Sweden, the thing, if 
not the name, is simply gone. Nor would any adherent 
of the theological party, whom I am addressing, think 
with much respect either of the Nestorians or Monophy- 
sites of Asia and Africa. The anti-Catholic bodies, which 
are made the present basis of the argument against us, 
are mainly or solely the Greek and the Anglican communi- 
ties ; and, as the antiquity, prescriptive authority, orders, 
and doctrine of Anglicanism, are the very subject in dis- 
pute, it is usual to simplify the argument by resting it 
upon grounds which it is supposed we cannot deny ; viz. 
the pretensions of the Greek Church, whose apostolical 
descent is unquestionable, and whose faith almost un- 

The argument, then, which I have to consider, is an 
appeal to the imagination of the following kind : The 
Russian Church, according to the statistical tables of 
1835, includes 39,862,473 souls within its pale % the 
Byzantine, or what is commonly called the Greek Church, 
is said to number about three millions ^ ; so that, ex- 
cluding the heretical bodies, we may place the whole 
Greek communion, from north to south, at about forty- 
three millions', with such increase of population as in 
the last fifteen years it has gained. On the other hand, 
the whole number of Catholics, which has been placed by 
some as low as one hundred and sixteen millions, is con- 
sidered by Catholics at present to reach two hundred. 
But, whatever be the proportion between the Greeks 
and ourselves, any how so vast a communion as one 

. * Theiner, L'Eglise Russe, 1 846. ' Conder, View of Religions. 

* In controversial writings, the numbers of the Greek orthodox com- 
munion are put at seventy or even ninety millions ; it does not appear 
on what data. Conder puts them at fifty millions. 



of forty-three million souls, is a difBculty, it is said, 
too positive for us to overcome. It seems incredible 
that we can have exclusive claims to be Ohrisfs heritage, 
if those claims issue in the exclusion of such immense 
populations from it ; it is incredible that we should be 
the Catholic Church, if we have not the power to take 
them up into our system, but let them lie in their own 
place. " If the Greeks are separate from the see of 
Rome," it is said, " as we see they are, we too may with- 
out hazard be separate also. They are too powerful, too 
numerous, to be subjects of a schism; they are too 
large a limb to admit of amputation ; they enter into the 
Church's life and essence ; in ejecting them from her 
bosom, she is tearing out herself ; in excommunicating 
them, you rather excommunicate yourselves ; you are 
affording us a plain reductio ad absurdum of your Catho- 
licity. And there is a second consideration which urges 
us, and that is, the frightful cruelty of denying to such 
multitudes of men, and to so great an extent of terri- 
tory, a place in the Church, claiming it as they do from 
generation to generation, and fully believing their own 
possession of it. Charity, still more than the necessities 
of controversy, obliges you to acknowledge them as a 
portion of the fold of Christ." 

This is the objection which I am to examine, and you 
will observe that I am to examine it only as an objection ; 
that is to say, I am supposing it proved sufficiently on 
other grounds that the communion of Rome is the 
Catholic Church, for to this the movement of 1833 has 
already been supposed to lead ; and then, with the fact 
sufficiently proved, this objection is brought as an ob- 
stacle to our surrendering ourselves to the conviction 
which follows. What I have to do, then, is to show, 
that the proof of our Catholicity is not affected by the 


phenomenon in question ; or that there are ways of ac- 
counting for it, sufficient to quiet our imagination, and to 
lead us to acquiesce in the difficulty, whatever it is, on 
the assumption which I claim to make, that the Church 
of Rome and Catholicism are synonymous terms. 

I observe, then, that it is but one instance of a great 
phenomenon, which has ever been on earth, that truth 
should be opposed by some pretence which is of a cha- 
racter to deceive men at first sight, and to confuse the 
evidence of what alone is divine and trustworthy. Thifs, 
if I must begin from the very beginning, the enemy of 
man did not overcome him in Paradise, except by pre- 
tending to be a prophet, and, as it were, preaching 
against his Maker. " Ye shall not die the death," he 
said ; " ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." 
Again, when Moses displayed his miracles before Pha- 
raoh, Jannes and Mambres were allowed to imitate 
them, in order, so to speak, to give the king a pretext, 
if he was perverse enough to take it, for rejecting the 
divine message. When the same great prophet had led 
out the chosen people towards the promised land, their 
enemies made the attempt to set up a rival prophet in 
Balaam, though it was overruled, as in other cases, by 
their almighty Protector. When a prophet denounced 
the schism of Jeroboam, there was an old deceiver who 
seduced him by the claim, " I also am a prophet like 
unto thee." The Temple had not long been built before 
a rival shrine arose on Mount Cerizim, with the very 
object of perplexing the inquirer. " Our fathers adored 
in this mountain," says the Samaritan woman to our 
Lord, " and ye say that at Jerusalem is the place where 
men must adore." And He warns us of false Christs 
and Antichrists, who were to mislead the many with the 
imitation of His claims ; and His Apostles were re- 


sisted, and in a manner thwarted, by Simon Magus, and 
others who set up against them. They themselves dis- 
tinctly prophesied this delusion as something which was 
to be, and apparently to endure till the end of all things ; 
so much so, that, were such imposing phenomena as the 
Greek Church taken out of the way, it will be difficult to 
say how the state of things would correspond to the apos- 
tolic anticipations of it, and one never should be sur- 
prised to find its rhetorical effect become more prac- 
tically urgent and visibly influential than it has 
been. " After my departure," says St. Paul, " ravenous 
wolves will enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 
And of your own selves will rise up men speaking per- 
verse things, to draw away disciples after them." And 
in his parting words he warns us, that " in the last days 
shall come dangerous times, for men shall be lovers of 
themselves . . . having an appearance indeed of piety," 
that is, of orthodoxy, " but denying the power thereof." 
" Evil men and seducers shall grow worse and worse, 
erring, and driving into error." And " there shall be a 
time when they will not bear sound doctrine, but accord- 
ing to their own desires they will heap to themselves 
teachers having itching ears." I need not remind you 
that St. John and St. Jude bear a similar testimony, 
which the event in no long time fulfilled. 

If you would ask me for the most remarkable fulfil- 
ment of their warning, I should point to Mahometanism, 
which is a far more subtle contrivance of the enemy than 
we are apt to consider. In the first place, it perplexes 
the evidence of Christianity just in that point in which it 
is most original and striking: I mean, it professes the 
propagation of a religion through the world, which I sup- 
pose was quite a new idea when Christianity appeared. 
In the event, indeed, it did but illustrate the divinity of 


Christianity by the contrast ; for while the Catholic 
Church is a proselyting power, as her enemies confess, 
at the end of eighteen centuries, Mahometanism soon got 
tired of its own undertaking, and when the novelty and 
excitement of conversion were over, it relapsed into a 
sort of conservative, local, national religion, such as the 
Greek and Latin polytheisms before it, and Protestantism 
since. And next, it acted over again, as if in mockery, 
the part which Christianity had taken towards Judaism ; 
viz. it professed to be an improvement on the Gospel, as 
the Gospel had been upon the Law ; and just as Chris- 
tianity dealt with Judaism, it pointed to the Christian 
prophecies in evidence of its own claims, which it affected 
to interpret better than Christians themselves. More- 
over, it swept away a considerable portion of the 
Christian heritage ; and there it remains to this day 
in the countries which it seized upon, lying over against 
us, and for this reason only not interfering with the 
clearness of a Protestanfs conviction of the divine origin 
of Christianity, that England lies north and Islamism 
is in the south. Then again, I cannot help thinking 
that Judaism is somewhat of a difficulty of the same 
kind ; not as if any one were likely to prefer it, any 
more than Mahometanism, to Christianity ; that is 
another matter altogether ; nor, in like manner, do I 
think that any of you, ray brethren, would turn Greek 
rather than become Catholic ; but I mean, that as 
the fact of the Greek Church impairs the simplicity 
of the Catholic argument, by the preferment of a 
counter authority, so does the existence of Judaism ; 
for, compared with it, Christianity is a novelty ; and 
it may be said. Do not stand midway, but either go 
on to some newer novelty, such as first Montanus, 
then Manes, and then Mahomet introduced, and others 


since, or else go back to the mother of all religions, 
the Jewish Law, which, as you yourselves allow, once 
was a prophet of God. On the other hand, even if we 
became Jews, as considering Judaism to be the perma- 
nent religion which God has given, still this would not 
get rid of the difficulty I am describing ; for the proper 
claims of Christianity would remain ; then, as now, you 
would have two rival prophets, one true, and one not 
true, though you would have changed your mind, as to 
which was true and which was false. Looking, then, at 
the world as it is, taking facts as they are, you cannot 
rid yourselves of difficulties in the evidence of religion, 
arising from the existence of bold, plausible, imposing 
counter-claims on the part of error, such as the Greek 
communion makes against Catholicism; and you must 
reconcile yourselves to them, unless you are content to 
believe nothing, and give up the pretension of faith 

But we need not go to Judaism or Mahometanism for 
parallels to the Greek Church ; look at the history of the 
Christian Church herself, and you will find precedents 
in former times, more exact and apposite than any which 
can be brought against her from without. It may be ob- 
served that the Apostle, in the passage already quoted, 
speaks of the sects and persuasions, whom by implication 
he condemns, not merely as collateral and independent 
creations, but as born in the Catholic body, and going 
out from it. " Of your own selves shall men arise ;" and 
St. John says, " They went out from us, but they were 
not of us ; for, if they had been of us, they would no 
doubt have continued with us." If this was not fulfilled 
in the very days of the Apostles, on the extensive scale 
on which it was afterwards, this was simply because large 
national conversions and serious schisms are not the 


growth of a day ; but, as far as it could exist in the first 
ages, it has existed from the very first, and far more 
strikingly in the succeeding centuries of the Church. 
From the first, the Church was but one communion 
among many which bore the name of Christian, some of 
them more learned, and others affecting a greater strictness 
than herself; till at length her note of Catholicity was for 
a while gathered up and fulfilled simply in the name of 
Catholic, rather than was a property visibly peculiar to 
herself and none but her. Hence the famous advice of the 
Fathers, that if one of the faithful went to a strange 
city, he should not ask for the " Church,'' for there were 
so many churches belonging to different denominations, 
that he w ould be sure to be perplexed and mistake, but for 
the CathoHc Church. " If ever thou art sojourning in any 
city," says St. Cyril, " inquire not simply where the 
Lord's House is, for the sects also make an attempt to 
call their own conventicles houses of the Lord, nor merely 
where the Church is, but where is the Catholic Church." 
St. Cyril wrote in Palestine ; but St. Austin in Africa, 
and St. Pacian in Spain, say the same thing. The pre- 
sent Greek Church is at best but a local form of religion, 
and does not pretend to occupy the earth ; but some of 
the early heretical bodies might almost have disputed with 
the See of St. Peter the prerogative of Catholicity. The 
stem discipline of the Novatians extended from Rome to 
Scythia, to Asia Minor, to Alexandria, to Africa, and to 
Spain ; while, at an earlier date, the families of Gnosti- 
cism had gone forth over the face of the world from Italy 
to Persia and Egypt on the east, to Africa on the south, 
to Spain on the west, and to Gaul on the north. 

. But you will say, there were, in those times, no national 
heresies or schisms, which alone can be considered parallel 

to the case of the Greek Church, supposing it schismati- 


cal ; — turn then to the history of the Gothic race. This 
great people, in all its separate tribes, received Christianity 
from Arian preachers ; and before it took possession of 
the empire, Maesogoths, Visigoths, Ostrogoths, Alani, 
Suevi, Vandals, and Burgundians, had all learned to deny 
the divinity of Christ. Suddenly France, Spain, Portugal, 
Africa, and Italy found themselves buried under the weight 
of heretical establishments and populations. This state 
of things lasted for eighty years in France, for a hundred 
in Italy and Africa, and for a hundred and eighty in 
Spain, extending through a space of two centuries. It 
should be added that these Gothic hordes, which took 
possession of the Empire, had little of the character of 
barbarism, except the vice of cruelty ; they were chaste, 
temperate, just, and devout, and some of their princes 
were men of ability, and patrons of learning. Did you 
live in that day, my brethren, you would perhaps be 
looking with admiration at these Arians, as now at the 
Greeks ; not from love of their heresy, but, your imagi- 
nation being affected by their number, power, and noble- 
ness, you would try to make out that they really did hold 
the orthodox faith, or at least that it was not at all certain 
they did not, though certainly they denied the Nicene 
Creed, against which they had been prejudiced, and anathe- 
matized Athanasius, from defective knowledge of history. 
You would have used the words of Bramhall, quoted above, 
when speaking of later families of heretics : — " How are 
they heretical Churches l some of them are called Arians; 
but most injuriously, who have nothing of Arius, but the 
name ; others have been suspected of Macedonianism, 
and yet in truth orthodox enough. It is no new thing for 
great quarrels to arise from mere mistakes." Bulk, not 
symmetry, vastness, not order, show, not principle — I fear 
I must say it, my dear brethren — these are your tests of 


truth. A century earlier than the Goths, you would 
have been enlarging on the importance of the Donatists. 
" Four hundred sees ! "" you would have said ; " a whole 
four hundred ! why it is a fifth of the Episcopate of 
Christendom. Unchurch them ! impossible ! we shall 
excommunicate ourselves in the attempt." 

Still, it may be said, I have produced nothing yet to 
match the venerable antiquity and the authoritative tradi- 
tions of the Greek Church, which is coeval with the Apos- 
tles, and for near a thousand years has been in its present 
theological position, and which, since its separation from 
the Holy See, has been able, as is alleged, to expand itself 
in a vast heathen country, which it has converted to the 
faith. Such is the objection ; and, as to the facts on which 
it is built, as before, I will take them for granted, for argu- 
ment's sake, for any how they are not sufficient to make 
it sound. For in truth, whether the facts be as repre- 
sented or not, you will find them all, and more than them 
all, in the remarkable history of the Nestorians. The 
tenet on which these religionists separated from the See 
of Rome is traceable to Antioch, the very birth-place of 
the Christian name ; and it was taken up and maintained 
by Churches which were among the oldest in Christendom. 
Driven by the Roman power over the boundaries of the 
Empire, it placed itself, as early as the fifth century, under 
the protection of Persia, and laid the foundations of a 
schismatical communion, the most wonderful that the 
world has seen. It propagated itself, both among Chris- 
tians and pagans, from Cyprus to China; it was the 
Christianity of Bactrians, Huns, Modes, and Indians, 
of the coast of Malabar and Ceylon on the south, and 
of Tartary on the north. This ecclesiastical dominion 
lasted for eight centuries and more, into the depth of the 
middle ages,— beyond the Pontificate of Innocent III. 


It was administered by as many as twenty-five arch- 
bishoprics ; and, though there is perhaps no record of the 
number of its people, yet it is said that, together with 
the opposite sect of the Monophysites in Syria and 
Egypt, at one time they surpassed in populousness the 
whole Catholic Church, in its Greek and Latin divisions. 
And it is to be observed, which is much to the purpose, 
that it occupied a portion of the world, with which, as 
far as I am aware, the Catholic Church, during those 
many centuries, interfered very little. It had the fur- 
ther Asia all to itself, from Mesopotamia to China ; far 
more so, than the Greek Church has at this time posses- 
sion of Russia and Greece. 

With this prominent example before our eyes, during 
so large a portion of the history of Christianity, I do not 
see how the present existence of the Greek Church can 
form any valid objection to the Catholicity we claim for 
the communion of Rome. Nestorianisni came from 
Antioch, the original Apostolic see ; Photianism, as it 
has been called, from Constantinople, a younger metro- 
polis. Nestorianism had its Apostolical succession, as 
Photianism, and a formed hierarchy. If its principal 
seat was new and foreign, in Chaldsea, not at Antioch, so 
the principal seat of Photianism is foreign too, being 
Russia ; if from Russia it has sent out missions and made 
conversions, so did Nestorianism, and much more so, 
from Chaldsea. You will, perhaps, object that Nesto- 
rianism was a heresy ; therein lies the force of my argu- 
ment, viz. that large, organized, flourishing, imposing 
communions, which strike the imagination as necessary 
portions of the heritage of Christ, may nevertheless in 
fact be implicated in some heresy, which, in the judgment 
of reason, invalidates their claim. If the Nestorian, 
enormous as it was, was yet external to the Church, why 


must the Greek communion be within it, merely because, 
supposing the fact so, it has some portion of the activity 
and success which were so conspicuous in the Nestorian 
missioners? Do not, then, think to overcome us with 
descriptions of the multitude, antiquity, and continuance 
of the Greek Churches, dismiss the vision of their rites, 
their processions, or their vestments, spare yourselves the 
recital of the splendour of their churches, or the vene- 
rable aspect of their bishops ; Nestorianism had them 
all : — the question lies deeper. 

It lies, for what we know, and to all appearance, in the 
very constitution of the human mind ; corruptions of the 
Gospel being as necessary and ordinary a phenomenon, 
taking men as they are, as its rejection. Why do you 
not bring against us the vast unreclaimed populations of 
paganism, or the political power of the British colonial 
empire, in proof that we are not a Catholic Church 1 is 
misbelief a greater marvel than unbelief? or do not the 
same intellectual and moral principles, which lead men to 
accept nothing, lead them also to accept half, of revealed 
truth 1 Both effects are simple manifestations of private 
judgment in the bad sense of the phrase, that is, of the 
use of one"'s own reason against the authority of God. 
If He has made it a duty to submit to the supreme autho- 
rity of the Holy See, (and of this I am assuming there is 
fair proof,) and if there is a constant rising of the human 
mind against authority, as such, however legitimate, the 
necessary consequence will be the very state of things we 
see before our eyes, — not individuals merely, casting off 
the Roman supremacy, (for individuals, as being of less 
account, have less temptation, or even opportunity, to 
rebel, than collections of men,) but, much more, the 
powerful and the great, the wealthy and the flourishing, 

E e 


kings and states, cities and races, falling back upon their 
own resources and their own connexions, making their 
home their castle, and refusing any longer to be dependent 
on a distant centre, or to regulate their internal affairs by 
a foreign tribunal. Assuming then that there is a supreme 
See, divinely appointed, in the midst of Christendom, to 
which all ought to submit and be united, such phenomena, 
as the Greek Church presents at this day, and the Nesto- 
rian in the middle ages, are its infallible correlatives, as 
human nature is constituted : it would require a miracle 
to make it otherwise. It is but an exemplification of the 
words of the Apostle, " The law entered in, that sin 
might abound ;" and again, " There must be heresies, that 
they also who are proved, may be made manifest among 
you." A command is both the occasion of transgression 
and the test of obedience. All depends on the fact of 
the supremacy of Rome ; I assume this fact ; I admit 
the contrary fact of the Arian, Nestorian, and the Greek 
communions ; and strong in the one, I feel no difficulty 
in the other. Neither Arian, nor Nestorian, nor Greek 
insubordination is any true objection to the fact of such 
supremacy, unless the divine foresight of such a neces- 
sary result can be supposed to have dissuaded the divine 
wisdom from giving occasion to it. 

But another remark is in place here. Nothing is more 
to be expected in large populations of Christians, if left 
to themselves, than a material instead of a formal faith. 
By a material faith, I mean that sort of habitual belief, 
which persons possess in consequence of having heard 
things said in this or that way from their childhood, being 
thoroughly familiar vi'ith them, and never having had 
difficulty suggested to them from without or within. 
Such is the sort of belief which many Protestants have 


in the Bible ; which they accept without a doubt, till ob- 
jections occur to them. Such as this becomes the faith 
of nations in process of time, where a clergy is negligent ; 
it becomes simply material and hereditary, the truth being 
received, but not on the authority of God. That is, their 
faith is but material not formal, and really has neither the 
character nor the reward of that grace-implanted, grace - 
sustained principle, which believes, not merely because it 
was so taught in the nursery, but because God has spoken ; 
not because there is no temptation to doubt, but because 
there is a duty to believe. And thus it may easily 
happen, in the case of individuals, that even the restless 
mind of a Protestant, who sets the divine will before 
him in his thoughts and actions, and wishes to be taught 
and wishes to beheve, may have more of grace in it, and 
be more acceptable in the divine sight, than his, who only 
believes passively, and not as assenting to a divine 
oracle ; just as one who is ever fighting successfully with 
temptations against purity has, so far, a claim of merit, 
which they do not share, who from natural temperament 
have not the trial. Now, the faultiness of this passive 
state of mind is detected, whenever a new definition of 
doctrine is promulgated by the competent autliority. Its 
immediate tendency, as exhibited in a population, will be 
to resist it, simply because it is new, and they recognise 
nothing but what is familiar to them ; whereas a ready 
and easy acceptance of the apparent novelty, and a cor- 
dial acquiescence in its promulgation, is the very evidence 
of a mind, which has lived, not merely in certain doc- 
trines, but in those doctrines as revealed, not simply in 
a Creed, but in its Giver, or, in other words, which has 
.lived by real faith. 

As, then, heathens are tried by the original preaching 
E e 2 


of the Word, so are Christians by recurring declarations 
of it ; and the same habit of mind, which makes one man 
an infidel, when he was before but a pagan, makes another 
a heretic, who before was but an hereditary or national 
Christian. And surely we can fancy without difficulty the 
circumstances, in which a people, and their priesthood, 
who ought to hinder it, may gradually fall into those 
heavy and sluggish habits of mind, in which faith is but 
material and obedience mechanical, and religion has be- 
come a superstition instead of a reasonable service ; and 
then it is as certain that they will become schismatics 
or heretics, should trial come, as that infidel cities, which 
have no heart for the truth, when it is for the first time 
preached to them, will remain in their infidelity. It is 
much to be feared, from what travellers tell us of the 
Greek priesthood and their flocks, that both in Russia 
and in Greece Proper they are very much in this state, 
— which may be called the proper disposition towards 
heresy and schism ; I mean, that they rely on things 
more than on persons, and go through a round of duties 
in one and the same way, because they are used to them, 
and because in consequence they are attached to them, 
not as having any intelligent faith in a divine oracle 
which has ordered them ; and that in consequence they 
would start in irritation, as they have started, from such 
indications of that oracle''s existence as is necessarily im- 
plied in the promulgation of a new definition of faith. 

I am speaking of the mass of the population ; and, at 
first sight, it is a very serious question, whether the popu- 
lation can be said to be simply gifted with divine faith, any 
more than our own Protestant people : yet I would as 
little dare to deny or to limit exceptions to this remark, 
as 1 would deny them or limit them among ourselves. 


Let there be as many, as there can be found tokens of 
there being ; and the more they are, to God the greater 
praise ! In this point of view it is that we are able to 
take comfort even from the contemplation of a country 
which is given up whether to heresy or schism. Such a 
country is far from being in the miserable state of a 
heathen population : it has portions of the truth remain- 
ing in it, it has some supernatural channels of grace ; 
and the results are such as can never be known till we 
have all passed out of this visible scene of things, and 
the accounts of the world are finally made up for the last 
tremendous day. While then I think it plain that the 
existence of large anti-Catholic bodies professing Chris- 
tianity are as inevitable, from the nature of the case, as 
infidel races or states, except under some extraordinary 
dispensation of divine grace, — while there must ever be in 
the world false prophets and Antichrists by the side of 
the Catholic Church, — yet it is consolatory to reflect how 
the schism or heresy, which the self-will of a monarch or 
a generation has caused, does not sufiice altogether to 
destroy the work for which in some distant age Evange- 
lists have sacrificed their homes and martyrs have shed 
their blood. Thus, the blessing is inestimable to England, 
so far as among us the Sacrament of Baptism is validly 
administered to any portion of the population. In Greece, 
where a far greater attention is paid to ritual exactness, 
the whole population may be considered regenerate ; half 
the children born into the world pass from a schismatical 
Church to heaven, and in many of the rest it may be the 
foundation of a supernatural life, which is gifted with 
perseverance in the hour of death. There may be 
many, who being in invincible ignorance on those points 
of rehgion on which their Church is wrong, may have 
the divine and unclouded illumination of faith on those 


numerous points on which it is right. And further, 
since there is a true priesthood there, and a true sacrifice, 
the benefits of Mass to those who never had the means of 
knowing better, may be almost the same as they are in 
the Cathohc Church. Humble souls who come in faith 
and love to the heavenly rite, under whatever disadvan- 
tages from the faulty discipline of their communion, may 
obtain, as well as we, remission of such sins as the Sacri- 
fice directly effects, and that supernatural charity which 
wipes out the most grievous. Moreover, when the Blessed 
Sacrament is lifted up, they adore, as well as we, the true 
Immaculate Lamb of God ; and, when they communicate, 
it is the True Bread of Life, and nothing short of it, which 
they receive for the eternal health of their souls. 

And in like manner, I suppose, as regards this coun- 
try, as well as Greece and Russia, we may entertain 
most reasonable hopes that vast multitudes are in a 
state of invincible ignorance ; so that those among them 
who are living a life really religious and conscientious 
may be looked upon with interest and even pleasure, 
though a mournful pleasure, in the midst of the pain 
which a Catholic feels at their ignorant prejudices 
against what he knows to be true. Among the most 
bitter railers against the Church in this country, may 
be found those who are influenced by divine grace, and 
are at present travelling towards heaven, whatever be 
their ultimate destiny. Among the most irritable dispu- 
tants against the Sacrifice of the Mass or Transubstan- 
tiation, or the most impatient listeners to the glories of 
Mary, may be those for whom she is saying to her Son, 
what He said on the cross to His Father, " Forgive 
them, for they know not what they do." Nay, while 
such persons think as at present, they are bound to act 
accordingly, and only so far to connect themselves with us 



as their conscience allows. " When persons who have 
been brought up in heresy," says a Catholic theologian, 
"are persuaded from their childhood that we are the 
enemies of God's word, are idolaters, pestilent deceivers, 
and therefore, as pests, to be avoided, they cannot, 
while this persuasion lasts, hear us with a safe con- 
science, and they labour under invincible ignorance, inas- 
much as they doubt not that they are in a good way'." 

Nor does it suffice, in order to throw them out of this 
irresponsible state, and to make them guilty of their ig- 
norance, that there are means actually in their power of 
getting rid of it. For instance, say they have no con- 
scientious feeling against frequenting Catholic chapels, 
conversing with Catholics, or reading their books ; and 
say they are thrown into the neighbourhood of the one 
or the company of the other, and do not avail themselves 
of their opportunities ; yet they do not become respon- 
sible for their present ignorance till such time as they 
actually feel it, till a doubt crosses them upon the sub- 
ject, and the thought comes upon them, that inquiry is 
a duty. And thus Protestants may be living in the 
midst of Catholic light, and labouring with the densest 
and most stupid prejudices; and yet we may be able to 
view them with hope, though with anxiety, with the hope 
that the question has never occurred to them, strange as 
it may seem, whether we are not right and they wrong. 
Nay, I will say something further still : they may be so 
circumstanced that it is quite certain that, in course of 
time, this ignorance will be removed, and doubt will be 
suggested to them, and the necessity of inquiry conse- 
quently imposed; and according to our best judgment, 
fallible of course as it is, we may be quite certain too, 

' Busenbaum, vol. i. p. 54. 


that, when that time comes, they will refuse to inquire 
and will quench the doubt ; yet should it so happen 
that they are cut off by death before that time has 
arrived, (I am putting an hypothetical case,) we may 
have as good hopes of their salvation as if we had no 
such misgivings on our mind ; for there is nothing to 
show that they were not taken away on purpose, in 
order that their ignorance might be their excuse. 

As to the prospect of those countless multitudes of a 
country like this, who apparently have no supernatural 
vision of the next world at all, and die without fear 
because they die without thought, with these, alas ! I am 
not here concerned. But the remarks I have been 
making suggest much of comfort, when we look out 
into what is called the religious world in all its varieties, 
whether it be the High Church section or the Evan- 
gelical, whether it be in the Establishment, or in Me- 
thodism, or in Dissent, so far as there seems to be real 
earnestness and invincible prejudice. One cannot but 
hope that that written Word of God, for which they de- 
sire to be jealous, though exhibited to them in a muti- 
lated form and in a translation unsanctioned by holy 
Church, is of incalculable blessing to thgir souls, and 
may be, through God's grace, the divine instrument of 
bringing many to contrition and to a happy death who 
have received no sacrament since they were baptized in 
their infancy. One cannot but hope that the Anglican 
Prayer Book, with its Psalter and Catholic prayers, even 
though in the translation they have passed through here- 
tical intellects, may retain so much of its old virtue as to 
co-operate with divine grace in the instruction and salva- 
tion of a large remnant. In these and many other ways, 
even in England, and much more in Greece, the difficulty 
is softened which is presented to the imagination by the 


view of such large populations called Christian, but not 
Catholic or orthodox in creed. 

There is but one set of persons, indeed, who inspire 
the Catholic with special anxiety, as much so as the open 
sinner, who is not peculiar to any communion, Catholic 
or schismatic, and who does not come into the present 
question. There is one set of persons in whom every 
Catholic must feel intense interest, about whom he must 
feel the gravest apprehensions ; viz. those who have some 
rays of light vouchsafed to them as to their heresy and 
as to their schism, and who seem to be closing their eyes 
upon it ; or those who have actually gained a clear view 
of the nothingness of their own communion, and the 
reality and divinity of the Catholic Church, yet delay to 
act upon their knowledge. You, my dear brethren, are 
in a very different state from those around you. You 
are called by the inscrutable grace of God to a great 
benefit, which to refuse is to be lost. You cannot be as 
others : they pursue their own way, they walk over this 
wide earth, and see nothing wonderful or glorious in the 
sun, moon, and stars of the spiritual heavens ; or they 
have an intellectual sense of their beauty, but no feeling 
of duty or of love towards them ; or they wish to love 
them, but think they ought not, lest they should get 
a distaste for the mire and foulness which is their 
present portion. They have not yet had the call to 
inquire, and to seek, and to pray for further guidance, 
infused into their hearts by the gracious Spirit of God ; 
and they will be judged according to what is given them, 
not by what is not. But on you the thought has dawned 
that possibly Catholicism may be true ; you have doubted 
the safety of your present position, and the present par- 
don of your sins, and the completeness of your present 
faith. You, by means of that very system in which you 



find yourselves, have been led to doubt that system. If 
the Mosaic law, given from above, was a schoolmaster to 
lead souls to Christ, much more is it true that an here- 
tical creed, when properly understood, warns us against 
itself, and frightens us from it, and is forced against its 
will to open for us with its own hands its prison gates, 
and to show us the way to a better country. So has it 
been with you. You set out in simplicity and earnest- 
ness, intending to serve it, and your very serving taught 
you to serve another. You began to use its prayers and 
act upon its rules, and they did but witness against it, 
and made you love it, not more but less, and carried off 
your affections to one whom you had not loved. The 
more you gazed upon your own communion the more 
unlike it you grew; the more you tried to be good 
Anglicans, the more you found yourselves drawn in 
heart and spirit to the Catholic Church. It was the 
destiny of the false prophetess that she could not keep 
the little ones who devoted themselves to her ; and the 
more simply they gave up their private judgment to her, 
the more sure they were of being thrown off by her, 
against their will, into the current of attraction which 
led straight to the true Mother of their souls. So 
month has gone on after month, and year after year ; and 
you have again and again vowed obedience to your own 
Church, and you have protested against those who left 
her, and you have thought you found in them what you 
liked not, and you have prophesied evil about them and 
good about yourselves ; and your plans seemed prosper- 
ing and your influence extending, and great things were 
to be ; and yet, strange to say, at the end of the time you 
have found yourselves steadily advanced in the direction 
which you feared, and never were nearer to the promised 
land than you are now. 


0, look well to your footing that you slip not ; be very 
much afraid lest the world should detain you ; dare not 
in any thing to fall short of God's grace, or to lag behind 
when that grace goes forward. Walk with it, co-operate 
with it, and I know how it will end. You are not the 
first persons who have trodden that path ; yet a little time, 
and, please God, the bitter shall be sweet and the sweet 
bitter, and you will have undergone the agony, and shall 
be lodged safely in the true home of your souls and the 
valley of peace. Yet but a little while, and you will look 
out from your resting-place upon the wanderers outside ; 
and wonder they do not see the way which is now so 
plain to you, and be impatient with them that they do 
not come on faster. And whereas you now are so per- 
plexed in mind that you seem to yourselves to believe 
nothing, then you will be so full of faith, that you will 
almost see invisible mysteries, and will touch the thresh- 
old of eternity. And you will be so full of joy that you 
will wish all around you partakers of it, as if for your 
own relief; and you will suddenly be filled with yearn- 
ings, deep and passionate, for the salvation of those dear 
friends whom you have outstripped ; and you will not 
mind their coolness, or stiffness, or distance, or con- 
strained gravity, for the love you bear to their souls. 
And though they will not hear you, you will address 
yourselves to those who will; I mean, you will weary 
heaven with your novenas for them, and you will be 
ever getting Masses for their conversion, and you will 
go to communion for them, and you will not rest till the 
bright morning comes, and they are yours once again. 
O is it possible that there is a resurrection even upon 
earth ! O, wonderful grace, that there should be a joyful 
meeting, after parting, before we get to heaven ! It was 
a weary time, that long suspense, when with aching hearts 


we stood on the brink of a change, and it was like death 
to witness and to undergo, when first one and then an- 
other disappeared from the eyes of their fellows. And 
then friends stood on different sides of a gulf, and for 
years knew nothing of each other or their welfare. And 
then they fancied of each other what was not, and there 
were misunderstandings and jealousies; and each saw 
the other, as his ghost, only in imagination and in 
memory; and all was suspense, and anxiety, and hope 
delayed, and ill-requited care. But now it is all over ; 
the morning is come ; the separate shall unite. I see 
them, as if in sight of me. Look at us, my brethren, 
from our glorious land ; look on us radiant with the 
light cast on us by the Saints and Angels who stand over 
us ; gaze on us as you approach, and kindle as you g^ze. 
We died, you thought us dead, we live ; we cannot return 
to you, you must come to us, — and you are coming. Do 
not your hearts beat as you approach us ? Do you not 
long for the hour which makes us one ? Do not tears come 
into your eyes at the thought of the superabundant 
mercy of your God ? 

" Sion, the city of our strength, a Savioiu", a wall and 
a bulwark shall be set therein. Open ye the gates and 
let the just Nation that keepeth the truth enter in ; the 
old error is passed away ; Thou wilt keep peace, peace be- 
cause we have hoped in Thee. In the way of Thy judg- 
ments, O Lord, we have patiently waited for Thee. Thy 
Name and Thy remembrance are the desire of the soul. 
O Lord our God, other lords beside Thee have had do- 
minion over us ; but in Thee only may we remember Thy 
Name. The dead, let them not live ; the giants, let them 
not rise again ; therefore thou hast visited and destroyed 
them, and hast destroyed all their memory." 



Feeling, my dear brethren, I should be encroaching 
on your patience if I extended this course of Lectures 
beyond the length which it is now reaching, I have been 
obhged, in order to give a character of completeness 
to the whole, to omit the discussion of subjects which 
I would fain have introduced, and to anticipate others 
which I would rather have viewed in another connexion. 
This must be my apology, if in their number and selec- 
tion I shall in any respect disappoint those who have 
formed their expectations of what I was to do in these 
Lectures, upon the profession contained in their general 
title. I have done what my limits allowed me : if I have 
not done more, it is not, I assure you, from having 
nothing to say, — for there are many questions upon 
which I have been anxious to enter, — but because I 
could neither expect you, my brethren, to give me more 
of your time, nor could command my own. 

As, then, I have already considered popular objections 

G g 


which are made respectively to the Sanctity, Unity, and 
Catholicity of the Church, now let me, as far as I can 
do it in a single Lecture, direct your attention to a diffi- 
culty felt, not by the world at large, but by many of 
you in particular, in admitting her Apostolical pre- 

I say " a difficulty not felt by the world at large ;" for 
the world at large has no such view of any contrariety 
between the Catholic Church of to-day and the Catholic 
Church of fifteen hundred years ago, as to be disposed 
on that account to deny our Apostolical claims ; rather, 
it is the fashion of the mass of Protestants, who ever 
think on the subject, to accuse the Church of the Fathers 
of what they call Popish superstition and intolerance ; 
and some have even gone so far as to say, that in these 
respects that early Church was more popish than the 
Papists themselves. But when, leaving this first look 
of the subject, and the broad outline, and the general 
impression, we come to inspect matters more narrowly, 
and compare them exactly, point by point, together, 
certainly it is not difficult to find various instances of 
discrepancy, apparent or real, important or trivial, be- 
tween the modern and the ancient Church ; and though 
no candid person who has fairly examined the state of 
the case can doubt that, if we differ from the Fathers 
in a few things, Protestants differ in all, and if we vary 
from them in accidentals they contradict them in essen- 
tials, still, since attack is much easier and pleasanter 
than defence, it has been the way with certain dispu- 
tants, especially of the Anglican school, instead of ac- 
counting for their own serious departures from the 
primitive doctrine and ritual, to call upon us to show 
why we differ at all from our first Fathers, though 


partially and intelligibly, in matters of discipline and 
in the tone of our opinions. Thus it is that Jewel 
tries to throw dust in the eyes of the world, and does 
his best to make an attack upon the Papacy and its 
claims pass for an Apology for the Church of England ; 
and more writers have followed his example than it is 
worth while, or indeed possible, to enumerate. And 
they have been answered again and again ; and the so- 
called novelties of modern Catholicism have been explained, 
if not so as to silence all opponents, (which could not be 
expected,) yet at the very lowest as far as this, (which 
is all that is incumbent on us in controversy,) as far 
as to show that we have a case against them. I say, 
even though we have not done enough for our proof, 
we have done enough for our argument, as the world 
will allow ; for on our assailants, not on us, lies the 
burden of proof, and they have done nothing till they 
have actually made their charges good, and destroyed the 
very tenableness of our positions and even the mere pro- 
bability of our representations. However, into the con- 
sideration, whether of these objections or of their an- 
swers, I shall not be expected to enter ; and especially, 
because each would form a separate subject in itself, and 
furnish matter for a separate Lecture. How, for in- 
stance, would it be possible in the course of an hour, 
and with such an exercise of attention as might fairly be 
exacted of you, to embrace subjects as distinct from 
each other as the primitive faith concerning the Blessed 
Virgin, and the Apostolic See, and the Holy Eucharist, 
and the worship of images ? You would not expect it of 
me, nor promise it for yourselves ; and the less so, be- 
cause, as you know, my profession all along has been 
to confine myself, as far as I can, to general considera- 



tions, and to appeal, in proof of what I assert, rather to 
common sense and facts before our eyes than to theology 
and history. 

In thus opening the subject, my brethren, I have been 
both explaining and apologizing for what I am proposing 
to do. For, if I am to say something, not directly in 
answer to the particular objections brought from Anti- 
quity against the doctrine and discipline of the present 
Catholic Church, but by way of appeasing and allaying 
that general misgiving and perplexity which those ob- 
jections excite, what can I do better than appeal to a 
fact, — though I cannot do so without some indulgence on 
the part of my hearers, — a fact connected with myself? 
And it is the less unfair to do so, because, as regards 
the history of the early Church and the writings of the 
Fathers, so many must go by the testimony of others, 
and so few have opportunity to use their own experience. 
I say, then, that the writings of the Fathers, so far from 
prejudicing at least one man against the modern Church, 
have been simply and solely the one intellectual cause of 
his having renounced the religion in which he was born 
and submitted himself to her. What other causes there 
may be, not intellectual, unknown, unsuspected by him- 
self, though freely imputed, on mere conjecture, by those 
who would invalidate his testimony, it would be unbe- 
coming and impertinent to discuss : for himself, if he 
is asked why he became a Catholic, he can only give that 
answer which experience and consciousness bring home 
to him as the true one, viz. that he joined the Catholic 
Church simply because be believed it, and it only, to be 
the Church of the Fathers ; — because he believed that 
there was a Church upon earth till the end of time, 
and one only ; and because, unless it was the communion 


of Rome, and it only, there was none ; — because, to use 
language purposely guarded, because it was the language 
of controversy, " all parties will agree that, of all existing 
systems, the present communion of Rome is the nearest 
approximation in fact to the Church of the Fathers ; 
possible though some may think it, to be still nearer to 
it on paper;" — ^because, " did St. Athanasius or St. Am- 
brose come suddenly to life, it cannot be doubted what 
communion they would mistake," not to say, recognize 
" for their own ;" — because " all will agree that these 
Fathers, with whatever differences of opinion, whatever 
protests if you will, would find themselves more at home 
with such men as St. Bernard or St. Ignatius Loyola, or 
with the lonely priest in his lodgings, or the holy sister- 
hood of mercy, or the unlettered crowd before the altar, 
than with the rulers or the members of any other reli- 
gious communities \" 

This is the great, manifest, historical phenomenon 
which converted me, to which all particular inquiries 
converged. Christianity is not a matter of opinion, but 
an external fact, entering into, carried out in, indivisible 
from, the history of the world. It has a bodily occu- 
pation of the world ; it is one continuous fact or thing, 
the same from first to last ; distinct from every thing 
else : to be a Christian is to partake of, to submit to, 
this thing ; and the simple question was. Where, what is 
this thing in this age, which in the first age was the 
Catholic Church? The answer was undeniable; the 
Church called Catholic now is that very same thing in 
hereditary descent, in organization, in principles, in posi- 
tion, in external relations, which was called the Catholic 

' Essay on Development, p. 138. 


Church then ; name and thing have ever gone together, 
by an uninterrupted connexion and succession, from then 
till now. Whether it had been corrupted in its teach- 
ing was, at best, a matter of opinion ; whether it had 
had a perpetuity was a matter of fact. It was inde- 
finitely more certain that it stood in the place of the 
ancient Church, as its heir and representative, than that 
certain peculiarities in its teaching were really innova- 
tions and corruptions. Say there is no Church at all, 
if you will, and at least I shall understand you ; but do 
not meddle with a fact attested by mankind. I am 
almost ashamed to insist upon so plain a point, which 
in many respects is axiomatically true, except that there 
are persons who wish to deny it. There are and have 
been such persons, and men of deep learning ; but their 
adverse opinion does not interfere with my present use 
of what I think so plain. Observe, I am not insisting 
on my own view of the matter as an axiom, nor proving 
it as a conclusion, nor forcing it on your acceptance as 
your reason for joining the Catholic Church, as it was 
mine. Let every one have his own reason for becoming 
a Catholic ; for reasons are in plenty, and there are 
enough for you all, and moreover all are good ones 
and consistent with each other. I am not assigning 
reasons why you should be Catholics ; you have them 
already : from first to last I am doing nothing more 
than removing difficulties in your path, which obstruct 
the legitimate effect of those reasons which have already 
convinced you. And to-day I am answering the objec- 
tion, so powerfully urged upon those who have no means 
of examining it for themselves, that, as a matter of fact, 
the modern Church has departed from the teaching of 
the ancient. Now even one man's contrary testimony 


avails to destroy this supposed matter of fact, though 
it is not sufficient to estabhsh any opposite matter of 
fact of his own. I say, then, the Catholicism of to-day 
cannot differ very seriously from the Catholicism of Anti- 
quity, if its agreement, or rather its identity, with Anti- 
quity forms the very reason on which even one educated 
and reflecting person is induced, much against every natu- 
ral inducement, to submit to its claims. Antiquity cannot 
supply a very conclusive argument against it, if it has 
furnished even one such person with a conclusive argu- 
ment in its favour. Let us grant that the argument 
against it is not altogether destroyed by this antagonist 
argument for it; yet surely it will be too much da- 
maged and enfeebled by the collision to do much towards 
resisting those independent reasons, personal to your- 
selves, which are already leading you to it. 

My testimony, then, is as follows. Even when I was 
a boy, my thoughts were turned to the early Church, and 
especially to the early Fathers, by the perusal of Milner's 
Church History, and I have never lost, I never have 
suffered a suspension of the impression, deep and most 
pleasurable, which his sketches of St. Ambrose and 
St. Augustine left on my mind. From that time the 
vision of the Fathers was always, to my imagination, I 
may say, a paradise of delight, to the contemplation of 
which I directed my thoughts from time to time, when- 
ever I was free from the engagements proper to my time 
of life. When I first began to read their works with 
attention and on system, I busied myself much in ana- 
lyzing them, and in cataloguing their doctrines and prin- 
• ciples ; and, when I had thus proceeded very carefully 
and minutely for some space of time, 1 found, on looking 


back on what I had done, that I had scarcely done any- 
thing at all; that I had gained very little from them, 
and that the Fathers I had been reading, which were ex- 
clusively those of the ante-Nicene period, as far as my 
reading was concerned, had very little in them. At the 
time I did not discover the reason of this result, though, 
on the retrospect, it was plain enough : I had read them 
simply on Protestant ideas, analyzed and catalogued 
them on Protestant principles of division, and hunted for 
Protestant doctrines and usages in them. My head- 
ings ran, " Justification by faith only," " Sanctification,"" 
and the like. I knew not what to look for in them ; I 
sought what was not there, I missed what was there ; 
I laboured through the night and caught nothing. But 
I should make one important exception : I rose from 
their perusal with a vivid perception of the divine insti- 
tution, the prerogatives, and the gifts of the Episcopate ; 
that is, with an implicit aversion to the Erastian prin- 

Some years afterwards I took up the study of them 
again, when I had occasion to employ myself on the his- 
tory of Arianism. I read them with Bull's De/ensio, as 
their key, as far as his subject extended ; but I am not 
aware that I made any other special doctrinal use of them 
at that time. 

I had set myself the study of them, with almost the 
single view of pursuing the series of controversies con- 
nected with our Lord's person ; and to the examination 
of these controversies I devoted two summers, with the 
interval of some years between them. And now at length 
I was reading them for myself; for no Anglican writer 
had specially and minutely treated the subjects on which 
I was engaged. On my first introduction to them I had 


read them as a Protestant ; and next, I had read them 
pretty much as an Anglican, though it is observable that, 
whatever I gained on either visit I paid them, over and 
above the theory or system with which I started, was in 
a Catholic direction. In the former of the two summers 
I speak of, my reading was almost entirely confined to 
strictly doctrinal subjects, to the exclusion of history, and 
I believe it left me pretty much where I was on the question 
of the Catholic Church ; but in the latter of the two sea- 
sons, it was principally occupied with the public course of 
the Monophysite controversy, and the circumstances and 
transactions of the Council of Chalcedon, in the fifth 
century, and at once and irrevocably I found my faith 
gone in the tenableness of the fundamental principle of 
Anglicanism, and a doubt of it implanted in my mind 
which never disappeared ^. I thought I saw in the con- 
troversy I have named, and in the Ecumenical Council 
connected with it, a clear interpretation of the present 
state of Christendom, and a key to the different parties 
and personages who have figured on the Catholic or the 
Protestant side during the period of the Reformation. 
During the autumn of the same year, a paper I fell in 
with upon the schism of the Donatists deepened the 
impression which the history of the Monophysites had 
made ; and I felt dazzled and excited by the new view of 
things which was thus opened upon me. Distrusting my 
judgment, and that I might be a better judge of the sub- 
ject, I determined for a time to put it away from my 
mind ; nor did I return to it till I gave myself to the 
translation of the doctrinal Treatises of St. Athanasius. 
This occupation brought up again before me the whole 

*■ This was some time before the publication of No. 90 of the Tracts 
for the Times, 


question of the Arian controversy and the Nicene Coun- 
cil ; and I clearly saw in that history, what I had not 
perceived on the first study of it, the same phenomenon 
which I had already found in the history of St. Leo and 
the Monophysites. From that time, what delayed my 
conviction of the claims of the Catholic Church upon me, 
was not any confidence in Anglicanism as a system of 
doctrine, but particular objections which as yet I saw no 
way of reducing, and the fear that, since I found others 
against me, I might, in some way or other, be involved 
in a delusion. 

And now you will ask me, what it is I saw in the his- 
tory of primitive controversies and councils which was 
so fatal to the pretensions of the Anglican Church ? 
I saw that the general theory and position of Angli- 
canism was no novelty in ancient history, but had a dis- 
tinct place in it, and a series of prototypes, and that 
these prototypes had ever been heretics or the patrons of 
heresy. The very badge of Anglicanism, as a system, is 
that it is a Via Media ; this is its life ; it is this, or it 
is nothing : deny this, and it forthwith dissolves into 
Catholicism or Protestantism, This constitutes its only 
claim to be recognized as a distinct form of Christianity ; 
it is its recommendation to the world at large, and its 
simple measuring-line for the whole field of theology. The 
Via Media appeals to the good sense of mankind ; it says 
that the human mind is naturally prone to excess, and 
that theological combatants in particular are certain to 
run into extremes. Truth, as virtue, lies in a mean; 
whatever, then, is true or not true, extremes certainly 
are false. And, whereas truth is in a mean, for that 
very reason it is ever moderate ; it can tolerate either 
extreme with great patience, because it views neither 


with that keenness of contrariety with which one ex- 
treme regards the other. For the same reason it is 
comprehensive ; because, being in a certain sense in the 
centre of all errors, though having no part in any of 
them, it may be said to rule and to temper them, to 
bring them together, and to make them, as it were, con- 
verge and conspire together in one under its own meek 
and gracious sway. Dispassionateness, forbearance, in- 
dulgence, toleration, and comprehension are thus all of 
them attributes of the Via Media, It is obvious more- 
over, that a doctrine like this will find especial acceptance 
with the civil magistrate. Religion he needs as an in- 
strument of government ; yet in religious opinion he sees 
nothing else but the fertile cause of discord and con- 
fusion. Joyfully then does he welcome a form of the- 
ology, whose very mission it is to temper the violence of 
polemics, to soften and to accommodate differences, and 
to direct the energies of churchmen to the attainment of 
tangible good instead of the discussion of mysteries. 

This feeling is expressed in the following passage, 
which I quote with shame and sorrow ; the more so, 
because, however accurate an exponent it is of the 
Anglican doctrine itself, it is certainly inconsistent with 
the general teaching of the writer to whom it belongs. 
" Though it is not likely," he says, " that Romanism 
should ever again become formidable in England, yet it 
may be in a position to make its voice heard ; and, in 
proportion as it is able to do so, the Via Media will do 
important service of the following kind. In the contro- 
versy which will ensue, Rome will not fail to preach, far 
and wide, the tenet which it never conceals, that there 
is' no salvation external to its own communion. On the 
other hand, Protestantism, as it exists, will not be behind- 

306 LECTURE xir. 

hand in consigning to eternal ruin all who are adherents 
of Koman doctrine. What a prospect is this ! two 
widely-spread and powerful parties dealing forth solemn 
anathemas upon each other, in the Name of the Lord ! 
Indifference and scepticism must be, in such a case, the 
ordinary refuge of men of mild and peaceable minds, who 
revolt from such presumption, and are deficient in clear 
views of the truth. I cannot well exaggerate the misery 
of such a state of things. Here the English theology 
would come in with its characteristic calmness and caution, 
clear and decided in its view, giving no encouragement 
to lukewarmness and liberalism, but withholding all ab- 
solute anathemas on errors of opinion, except where the 
primitive Church sanctions the use of them \'" 

Such, then, is the Anglican Church and its Via Media, 
and such the practical application of it ; it is an inter- 
position or arbitration between the extreme doctrines of 
Protestantism and the faith of Rome which that heresy 
contradicts. And moreover, though it may be unwiUing to 
allow it, it is, from the nature of the case, but a particular 
form of Protestantism. I do not say that in secondary 
principles it may not agree with the Catholic Church ; but, 
its essential idea being that she has gone too far, whereas 
the essential idea of Catholicism is the Church's infallibi- 
lity, the Via Media is really nothing else than Protestant. 
Not simply to submit to the Church is to oppose her, and 
to side with the heretical party ; for medium there is 
none. The Via Media assumes that Protestantism is right 
in its protest against Catholic doctrine, only that it 
needs correcting, limiting, perfecting. This surely is 
but a matter of fact; for it has adopted all the great 

3 Proph. Off. p. 26. 


Protestant doctrines, as its most strenuous upholder and 
the highest of Anglo- Catholics will be obliged to allow : 
the mutilated canon, the defective Rule of Faith, justifi- 
cation by faith only, putative righteousness, the in- 
fection of nature in the regenerate, the denial of the 
five Sacraments, the relation of faith to the Sacramental 
Presence, and the like ; its aim being nothing else than 
to moderate, with Melanchthon, the extreme statements 
of Luther, to keep them from shocking the feelings of hu- 
man nature, to protect them from the criticism of common 
sense, and from the pressure and urgency of controver- 
sial attack. Thus we have three parties on the historical 
stage : the see and communion of Rome ; the original 
pure Protestant, violent, daring, offensive, fanatical in his 
doctrines ; and a cautious middle party, quite as heretical 
in principle and in doctrinal elements as Protestantism 
itself, but having an eye to the necessities of controversy, 
sensible in its ideas, sober in its tastes, safe in its state- 
ments, conservative in its aims, and practical in its mea- 
sures. Such a Via Media has been represented by the 
line of Archbishops of Canterbury from Tillotson down- 
wards, as by Cranmer before them. Such in their theo- 
logy, though not in their persons or their histories, were 
Laud and Bull, Taylor and Hammond, and I may say 
nearly all the great authorities of the Established Church. 
This distinctive character has often been noticed, espe- 
cially by Mr. Alexander Knox, and much might be said 
upon it ; and, as I have already observed, it ever receives 
the special countenance of the civil magistrate, who, if 
he could, would take up with a religion without any doc- 
trines whatever, as Warburton well understands, but 
who, in the case of a necessary evil, admires the sobriety 
of Tillotson, and the piety of Patrick, and the elegance 


of Jortin, and the literary merits of Lowth, and the 
shrewd sense of Paley. 

Now this sketch of the relative positions of the See of 
Rome, Protestantism, the Via Media, and the State, 
which we see in the history of the last three centuries, 
is, I repeat, no novelty in history ; it is almost its rule, 
certainly its rule during the long period when relations 
existed between the Byzantine Court and the Holy See ; 
and it is impossible to resist the conclusion, which the 
actual inspection of the history in detail forces upon us, 
that what the See of Rome was then such is it now ; 
that what Arius, Nestorius, or Eutyches were then, such 
are Luther and Calvin now ; what the Eusebians or 
Monophysites then, such the Anglican hierarchy now; 
what the Byzantine Court then, such is now the Govern- 
ment of England, and such would have been many a 
Catholic Court, had it had its way. That ancient history 
is not dead, it lives ; it prophesies of what passes be- 
fore our eyes ; it is founded in the nature of things ; we 
see ourselves in it, as in a glass, and, if the Via Media 
was heretical then, it is heretical now. 

I do not know how to convey this to others in one or 
two paragraphs : it is the living picture which history 
presents to us, which is the evidence of the fact ; and to 
attempt a mere outline of it, or to detach one or two 
groups from the finished composition, is to do injustice 
to its luminousness. Take, for instance, the history of 
Arianism. Arius stood almost by himself: bold, keen, 
stern, and violent, he took his stand on two or three 
axiomatic statements, as he considered them, appealed 
to Scripture, despised authority and tradition, and car- 
ried out his heretical doctrine to its furthest limits. He 
absolutely maintained, without any reserve, that our Lord 


was a creature, and had a beginning. He was one of a 
number of able and distinguished men, scattered over the 
East, united together by the bond of a common master 
and a common school, who might have been expected to 
stand by him on his appealing to them ; but who left 
him to his fate, or at least but circuitously and indirectly 
served his cause. High in station, ecclesiastical and 
civil, they found it more consistent with their duties 
towards themselves to fall back upon a more cautious 
phraseology, and less assailable principles, to evade in- 
quiry, to explain away tests, and to profess a submission 
to the voice of their forefathers and of the Catholic 
world ; and they developed their formidable party in 
that form of heresy which is commonly called Semi- 
arianism or Eusebianism. They preached peace, pro- 
fessed to agree with neither St. Athanasius nor Arius, 
excited the jealousies of the Eastern world against 
the West, were strong enough to insult the Pope, and 
dexterous enough to gain the favour of Constantino 
and the devoted attachment of his son Constantius. 
The name of Eusebians they received from their 
leader, the able and unscrupulous Bishop of Nicomedia, 
with whom was associated another Eusebius, better 
known to posterity as the learned historian of the 
Church, and one of the most accomplished and able of 
the Fathers. It will be to my purpose to quote one or 
two sentences in description of the character of this 
celebrated man, written at a time when the Via Media 
had not been made the subject of controversy, nor the 
bearing of the Arian history upon it as yet surmised. " He 
seems," says the writer, " to have had the faults and the 
virtues of the mere man of letters ; strongly excited 
neither to good nor to evil, and careless at once of the 


cause of truth and the prizes of secular greatness, in 
comparison of the comforts and decencies of Hterary 
ease. In his writings, numerous as they are, there is 
very Uttle which fixes on Eusebius any charge, beyond 
that of an attachment to the Platonic phraseology. Had 
he not connected himself with the Arian party, it would 
have been unjust to have suspected him of heresy. But 
his acts are his confession. He openly sided with those 
whose blasphemies a true Christian would have abhorred; 
and he sanctioned and shared their deeds of violence 
and injustice perpetrated on the Catholics. . . . The 
grave accusation under which he lies is not that of 
Arianizing*, but of corrupting the simplicity of the 
Gospel with an Eclectic spirit. While he held out the 
ambiguous language of the schools as a refuge, and the 
Alexandrian imitation of it as an argument, against the 
pursuit of the orthodox, his conduct gave countenance to 
the secular maxim, that difference in creeds is a matter 
of inferior moment, and that, provided we confess as far 
as the very terms of Scripture, we may speculate as 
philosophers and live as the world. . . . The remark has 
been made, that throughout his Ecclesiastical History 
no instance occurs of his expressing abhorrence of the 
superstitions of paganism ; and that his custom is either 
to praise, or not to blame, such heretical writers as fall 
under his notice*." Much more might be added in 
illustration of the resemblance of this eminent writer to 
the divines of the Anglican Via Media. 

The Emperor Constantino has already been named; 
and, looking at him in his ecclesiastical character, we find 

* The author has now still less favourable views of Eusebius's theology 
than he had when he wrote this in 1832. 
5 Arians of the Fourth Century, p. 281 . 


him committed to two remarkable steps: one that he 
frankly surrendered himself to the intimate friendship of 
this latitudinarian theologian; the other, that, at the very 
first rumour of the Arian dissensions, he promptly, and 
with the precision of an instinct, interfered in the quarrel, 
and in a politician's way pronounced it a logomachy, or at 
least a matter of mere speculation, and bade bishops and 
heretics embrace and make it up with each other at once. 
This did he in a question no less solemn than that of the 
divinity of our Lord, which, if any question, could not, 
one would think, be other than most influential in a 
Christian's creed. But Constantine was not a Christian 
as yet ; and this, while it partly explains the extravagance 
of his conduct, illustrates the external and utilitarian 
character of a statesman's religion. 

I will present to you portions of the celebrated letter 
which he addressed to the Bishop of Alexandria and to 
Arius, as quoted in the history to which I have already 
referred. " He professes therein two motives as im- 
pelling him in his public conduct ; first, the desire of 
effecting the reception, throughout his dominions, of some 
one definite and complete form of religious worship ; next, 
that of settling and invigorating the civil institutions of 
the empire. Desirous of securing an unity of sentiment 
among all the believers in the Deity, he professes first to 
have directed his attention to the religious dissensions of 
Africa, where he had hoped to have had the aid of the 
Oriental Christians in his attempt to terminate them. 
' But, glorious and Divine Providence ! ' he continues, 
'how grievously were my ears, or rather my heart 
wounded, by the report of a rising schism among you far 
mpre acrimonious than the African dissensions. ... On 



investigation, I must say, that the reasons for this eager- 
ness on both sides appear to me insignificant and worth- 
less. . . . As I understand the matter, it seems that you, 
Alexander, were asking the separate opinions of your 
clergy on some passage of Scripture, or rather were 
inquiring about some unedifying question, when you, 
Arius, inconsiderately committed yourself to statements, 
which should either never have come into your mind, or 
have been at once repressed. On this a difference ensued. 
Christian intercourse was suspended, the sacred flock was 
divided into two, and the harmonious order of the Church 
broken. . . . My advice to you is, neither to ask nor 
answer questions, which, instead of being Scriptural, are 
the mere sport of idleness, or an exercise of ability ; at 
best, keep them to yourselves, and do not publish them. 
... You agree in fundamentals ; neither of you is intro- 
ducing any novel mode of worship, so that it is in your 
power to unite in one communion. Even the philosophers 
of one sect can agree together, though differing in parti- 
culars. ... Is it right for brothers to oppose brothers, for 
the sake of trifles ? . . . Such conduct might be expected 
from the multitude or from the intemperance of youth, 
but little befits your sacred order and experience of 
the world. . . . Give me back my days of calm, my nights 
of security ; that I may experience henceforth the com- 
fort of the clear light, and the cheerfulness of tranquil- 
lity. Otherwise I shall sigh and be dissolved in tears. . . . 
So great is my grief, that I put off my journey to the 
East on the news of your dissension. . . . Open for me 
that path towards you, which your contentions have 
closed up. Let me see you and all other cities in hap- 
piness, that I may ofier due thanksgivings to God above 


for the unanimity and free intercourse which is seen 
among you ®.' "''' 

Such was the position which the civil power assumed 
in the very first days of its nativity. The very moment 
the State enters into the Church, it shows its nature and 
its propensities, and takes up a position which it has never 
changed, and never will. Kings and statesmen may be, 
and have been, saints ; but, in being such, they have acted 
against the interests and traditions of kingcraft and 
statesmanship. Constantino died, but his line of policy 
continued. His son, Constantius, embraced the Via Media 
of Eusebianism on conviction as well as from expediency. 
He sternly set himself against both extremes, as he con- 
sidered them, banished the fanatical successors of Arius, 
and tortured and put to death the adherents to the Nicene 
Creed and the cause of St. Athanasius. Thus the Via 
Media party was in the ascendancy for about thirty years, 
till the death of the generation by whom it had been 
formed and protected ; — with quarrels and defections 
among themselves, restless attempts at stability in faith, 
violent efforts after a definitive creed, fruitless projects of 
comprehension, when, towards the end of their domina- 
tion, a phenomenon showed itself which claims our par- 
ticular attention, as not without parallel in ecclesiastical 
history, and as reminding us of what is going on in a 
humbler way and on a narrower stage before our eyes. In 
various districts, especially of Asia Minor, a considerable 
party had gradually been forming, and had exercised a 
considerable influence in the ecclesiastical transactions of 
the period, who, though called Semi-arians and professing 

8 Arians of the Fourth Century, p. 267. 



their symbols, had no sympathies with the Eusebians, and 
indeed were ultimately disowned by them. There seems 
to have been about a hundred bishops who belonged to 
this party, and their leaders were men of religious habits, 
and unblemished repute, and approximated so nearly to 
orthodoxy in their language, that saints appear among the 
number of their friends, or have issued from their school. 
They could not stand as they were : every year brought 
its event ; Oonstantius died ; parties were broken up, — 
and this among the rest. It divided into two ; as many 
as fifty-nine of its bishops subscribed the orthodox 
formula, and submitted themselves to the Holy See. A 
body of thirty-four persisted in their separation from it, 
and afterwards formed a new heresy of their own. 

These are but a few of the main features of the history 
of Arianism ; yet they may be sufficient to illustrate the 
line of argument, which Antiquity furnishes against the 
theories, on which alone the movement of 1833 had claim 
on the attention of Protestants. That theory claimed 
to represent the theological and the ecclesiastical system 
of the Fathers ; and the Fathers, when interrogated, 
did but pronounce it to be the offspring of eclecticism, and 
the creature of the State. It could not maintain itself 
in its position without allying itself historically with that 
very Erastianism, as seen in Antiquity, of which it had so 
intense a hatred. What has been sketched from the 
Arian history might be shown still more strikingly in the 

Nor was it solely the conspicuous parallel which I have 
been describing in outline, which, viewed in its details, 
was so fatal a note of error against the Anglican position. 
I soon found it to follow that the grounds on which 


alone Anglicanism was defensible formed an impregnable 
stronghold for the primitive heresies, and that the justifica- 
tion of the primitive councils was as cogent an apology for 
the Council of Trent. Without going into the question 
here, which would be out of place, it was difficult to 
make out how the Eutychians or Monophysites were 
heretics, unless Protestants and Anglicans were heretics 
also ; difficult to find arguments against the Tridentine 
Fathers which did not tell against the Fathers of 
Chalcedon ; difficult to condemn the Popes of the six- 
teenth century without condemning the Popes of the 
fifth. The drama of religion, and the combat of truth 
and error were ever one and the same. The principles 
and proceedings of the Church now were those of the 
Church then ; the principles and proceedings of heretics 
then were those of Protestants now. I found it so, — 
almost fearfully ; there was an awful similitude, more 
awful because so silent and unimpassioned, between the 
dead records of the past and the feverish chronicle of the 
present. The shadow of the fifth century was on the 
sixteenth. It was like a spirit rising from the troubled 
waters of the old world with the shape and lineaments of 
the new. The Church then, as now, might be called 
peremptory and stern, resolute, overbearing, and relent- 
less; and heretics were shifting, changeable, reserved, 
and deceitful, ever courting the civil power, and never 
agreeing together, except by its aid ; and the civil power 
was ever aiming at comprehensions, trying to put the 
invisible out of view, and to substitute expediency for 
faith. What was the use of continuing the controversy, 
or defending my position, if, after all, I was but forging 
arguments for Arius or Eutyches, and turning devil's 
advocate against the much-enduring Athanasius and the 


majestic Leo ? Be my soul with the saints ! and shall 1 
lift up my hand against them ? Sooner may my right 
hand forget her cunning, and wither outright, as his who 
once stretched it out against a prophet of God ! perish 
sooner a whole tribe of Oranmers, Ridleys, Latimers, and 
Jewels ! perish the names of Bramhall, Ussher, Taylor, 
Stillingfleet, and Barrow, from the face of the earth, 
ere I should do aught but fall at their feet in love and in 
worship, whose image was continually before my eyes, 
and whose musical words were ever in my ears and on 
my tongue ! 

This, too, is an observable fact, that the more learned 
Anglican writers seem aware of the state of the case, 
and are obliged, by the necessities of their position, to 
speak kindly of the heretical communities of ancient 
history, and at least obliquely to censure the councils, 
which nevertheless they profess to receive. Thus Bram- 
hall, as we saw yesterday, strives to fraternize with the 
sectaries now existing in the East ; nor could he con- 
sistently do otherwise with the Council of Trent and the 
Protestants in the field of controversy ; it being difficult 
indeed to show that the Eastern Churches in question 
are to be accounted heretical, on any principles which a 
Protestant is able to put forward. It is not wonderful, 
then, that other great authorities in the Established 
Church are of the same way of thinking. " Jewel, 
Ussher, and Laud," says an Anglican divine of this day, 
" are apparently of this opinion, and Field expressly 
maintains it ^" 

Jeremy Taylor goes further still, that is, is still more 
consistent ; for he not merely acquits of heresy the 

' Palmer on the Church, vol. i. p. 418. 


existing communities of the East who dissent from the 
third and fourth councils, but he is bold enough to attack 
the first council of all, the Nicene. He places the right 
of private judgment, or what he calls "the liberty of 
prophesying" before aU councils whatever. As to the 
Nicene, he says, " / am much pleased with the enlarging 
of the Creed which the Council of Nice made, because 
they enlarged it in my sense ; but I am not sure that 
others were satisfied with it *." " That faith is best 
which hath greatest simplicity ; and ... it is better, in 
all cases, humbly to submit, than curiously to inquire 
and pry into the mystery under the cloud, and to hazard 
our faith by improving our knowledge. If the Nicene 
Fathers had done so too, possibly the Church would 
never have repented it '." " If the article had been with 
more simplicity and less nicety determined, charity would 
have gained more, and faith would have lost nothing "." 
And he not only calls Eusebius, whom it is hard to acquit 
of heresy, " the wisest of them all \" but actually praises 
the letter of Constantino, which I have already cited, as 
most true in its view and most pertinent to the occasion. 
" The Epistle of Constantino to Alexander and Arius," 
he says, " tells the truth, and chides them both for com- 
mencing the question ; Alexander for broaching it, Arius 
for taking it up. And although this be true, that it had 
been better for the Church it never had begun, yet, being 
begun, what is to be done in it ? Of this also, in that 
admirable epistle, we have the Emperor's judgment .... 
for, first, he calls it a certain vain piece of a question, ill 
begun and more unadvisedly published, ... a fruitless 

8 Vol. vii. p. 481, ed. 1828. » Jeremy Taylor, ibid. p. 485. 

10 Ibid. » Ibid. 


contention, the product of idle brains, a matter so nice, so 
obscure, so intricate, that it was neither to be expHcated by 
the clergy, nor understood by the people ; a dispute of 
words. ... It concerned not the substance of faith, or 
the worship of God, nor any chief commandment of 
Scripture .... the matter being of no great importance, 
but vain, and a toy in respect of the excellent blessings 
of peace and charity ^." When we recollect that the 
question confessedly in dispute was whether our Lord is 
the Eternal God or a creature, and that the Nicene 
symbol against which he writes was confessedly the sole 
test adequate to the definition of His divinity, 'it is 
scarcely conceivable that a writer should believe that 
divinity and thus express himself. 

Taylor is no accident in the history of the Via Media ; 
he does but speak plainer than Field and Bramhall ; and 
soon others began to speak plainer than he. The school 
of Laud gave birth to the latitudinarians ; Hales and 
Chillingworth, their first masters, were personal friends of 
the Archbishop, whose indignation with them only proves 
his involuntary sense of the tottering state of his own theo- 
logical position. Lord Falkland again, who thinks that 
before the Nicene Council " the generality of Christians 
had not been always taught the contrary to Arius's doc- 
trine, but some one way, others the other, most nei- 
ther '," was the admired friend of Hammond ; and Gro- 
tius, whose subsequent influence upon the national divines 
has been so serious, was introduced to their notice by 
Hammond and Bramhall. 

Such has been the issue of the Via Media ; its tend- 
ency in theory is towards latitudinarianism ; its posi- 

' P. 482. 3 Hammond's Works, vol. ii. p. 655. 


tion historically is one of heresy ; in the National Church 
it has fulfilled both its theoretical tendency and its histo- 
rical position. As this single truth was brought home to 
me, I felt that, if continuance in the National Church was 
defensible, it must be on other grounds than those of the 
Via Media. 

Yet this was but one head of argument, which the his- 
tory of the early Church afforded against the National 
Establishment, and in favour of the Roman See. I have 
already alluded to the light which the schism of the 
African Donatists casts on the question between the two 
parties in the controversy ; it is clear, strong, and deci- 
sive, but perfectly distinct from the proof derivable from 
the Arian, Nestorian, and Monophysite histories *. 

Then again, after drawing out from antiquity the out- 
lines of the ecclesiastical structure, and its relations to 
bodies and powers external to it, when we go on, as it 
were, to colour it with the thousand tints which are to 
be found in the same ancient records, when we consider 
the ritual of the Church, the ceremonial of religion, the 
devotions of private Christians, the opinions generally re- 
ceived, and the popular modes of acting, what do we find 
but a third and most striking proof of the identity be- 
tween primitive Christianity and modern Catholicism ' ? 
No other form of Christianity but it, has a pretence to 
resemble, even in the faintest shadows, the Christianity 
of Antiquity, viewed as a living religion on the stage of 
the world. This has ever attached me to such works as 
Fleury^'s Church History ; because, whatever may be its 
incidental defects or mistakes, it brings before the reader 

* Vide Dublin Review, August, 1839. Art. " Anglican Claim." 
« Ibid. Dec. 1843. Art. " A Voice from Rome." 


SO vividly the Church of the Fathers, as a fact and 
reality, instead of speculating, after the manner of most 
histories, on the principles, or of making views upon 
the facts, or cataloguing the heresies, rites, or writers, of 
those ancient times. You may make ten thousand ex- 
tracts from the Fathers, and not get deeper into the 
state of their times than the paper you write upon; 
to imbibe into the intellect the ancient Church as a fact, 
is either to be a Catholic or an infidel. 

Recollect, my brethren, I am going into these details, 
not as if I thought of convincing you on the spot by a 
view of history which convinced me after careful consi- 
deration, nor as if I called on you to be convinced by 
what convinced me at all (for the methods of conviction 
are numberless, and one man approaches the Church by 
this road, another by that), but merely in order to show 
you how it was that Antiquity, instead of leading me from 
the Holy See, as it leads many, on the contrary drew me 
on to submit to its claims. But, even had I worked out 
for you these various arguments ever so fully, I should 
have brought before you but a secondary portion of the 
testimony, which the ancient Church seemed to me to 
supply to its identity with the modern. What was far 
more striking to me than the ecclesiastical phenomena 
which I have been drawing out, remarkable as they are, 
is a subject of investigation which is not of a nature to 
introduce into a popular Lecture ; I mean, the history 
of the doctrinal definitions of the Church. It is well 
known that, though the creed of the Church has been 
one and the same from the beginning, yet it has been so 
deeply lodged in her bosom as to be held by individuals 
more or less implicitly, instead of being delivered 
from the first in those special statements, or what are 


called definitions, under which it is now presented to us, 
and which preclude mistake or ignorance. These defini- 
tions, which are but the expression of portions of the 
one dogma which has ever been received by the Church, 
are the work of time ; they have grown to their present 
shape and number in the course of eighteen centuries, 
under the exigency of successive events, such as heresies 
and the like, and they may of course receive still further 
additions as time goes on. Now this process of doctrinal 
development, as you might suppose, is not of an acci- 
dental or random character ; it is conducted upon laws, 
as every thing else which comes from God ; and the 
study of its laws and of its exhibition, or, in other words, 
the science and history of the formation of theology, was 
a subject which had interested me more than any thing else 
from the time I first began to read the Fathers, and which 
had engaged my attention in a special way. Now it was 
gradually brought home to me, in the course of my read- 
ing, so gradually, that I cannot trace the steps of my 
conviction, that the decrees of later Councils, or what 
Anglicans call the Roman corruptions, were but instances 
of that very same doctrinal law which was to be found in the 
history of the early Church ; and that in the sense in 
which the dogmatic truth of the prerogatives of the 
Blessed Virgin may be said in the lapse of centuries to 
have grown upon the consciousness of individuals, in that 
same sense did in the first age the mystery of the Blessed 
Trinity also gradually shine out and manifest itself more 
and more completely before their minds. Here was at 
once an answer to the objections urged by Anglicans 
against the present teaching of Rome ; but not only an 
answer to objections, but a positive argument in its 
favour ; for the immutability and uninterrupted action of 


the laws in question throughout the course of Church 
history is a plain note of identity between the Catholic 
Church of the first ages and that which now goes by the 
name ; — just as the argument from the analogy of natural 
and revealed religion is at once an answer to difficulties 
in the latter, and a direct proof that Christianity has the 
same Author as the physical and moral world. But the 
force of this, to me ineffably cogent argument, I cannot 
hope to convey to another. 

And now, my dear brethren, what fit excuse can I 
make to you for the many words I have used about 
myself, and not in this Lecture only, but in others 
before it ? This alone I can say, that it was the appre- 
hension, or rather the certainty that this would be the 
case, which, among other reasons, made me so unwilling 
as I was to begin this course of Lectures at all. I fore- 
saw that I could not address you on the subjects which 
I proposed, without introducing myself into the discus- 
sion ; I could not refer to the past, without alluding to 
matters in which 1 had a part ; I could not show that 
interest in your state of mind and course of thought 
which I really feel, without showing that I therefore 
understood it, because I had before now experienced it 
myself; and I anticipated, what I fear has been the 
case, that in di'awing out the events of former years, 
and the motives of past transactions, and the operation 
of common principles, and the complexion of old habits 
and opinions, I should be in no slight degree construct- 
ing, what I have ever avoided, a defence of myself. 

But I have had another apprehension, both before and 
since beginning these Lectures, viz. lest it was, to say 
the least, an impolitic proceeding to contemplate them 


at all. Things were proceeding in that course in which 
I knew they must proceed ; I could not foretell indeed 
that a decision would issue from the Committee of Privy 
Council on the subject of Baptism ; I could not antici- 
pate that this or that external event would suddenly 
undo men*'s confidence in the National Church ; but it 
required no gift of prophecy to feel that falsehood, and 
pretence, and unreality could not for ever enslave honest 
minds sincerely seeking the truth. It needed no pro- 
phetical gift to be sure, that others must take ultimately 
the course which I had taken, though I could not foretell 
the time or the occasion ; no gift to foresee that those 
who did not choose to plunge into the gulf of scep- 
ticism must at length fall back upon the Catholic 
Church. Nor did it require in me much faith in you, 
my dear brethren, much love for you, to be sure that, 
though there were close around you men who look like you 
but are not, that you, the children of the movement, 
were too conscientious, too much in earnest, not to be 
destined by that God, who made you what you are, to 
greater things. Others may have scoffed at you, but 
I never; others may have made light of your prin- 
ciples, or your sincerity, but never I ; others may have 
predicted evil of you, I have only felt vexed at the pre- 
diction. I have laughed indeed, I have scorned, and 
scorn and laugh I must, when men set up an outside 
instead of the inside of religion — when they affect more 
than they can sustain — when they indulge in pomp or 
in minutise, which are only then becoming when there 
is something to be proud of, something to be anxious 
for. If I have been excessive here, if I have confused 
what is defective with what is hollow, or have mistaken 
aspiration for pretence, or have been severe upon infirmi- 


ties, towards which self-knowledge would have made me 
tender, I wish it otherwise. Still, whatever my faults 
in this matter, I have ever been trustful in that true 
Catholic spirit which has lived in the movement of which 
you are partakers. I have been steady in my loyalty 
to that supernatural influence among you, which made 
me what I am, — which, in its good time, shall make you 
what you shall be. You are born to be Catholics ; 
refuse not the unmerited grace of your bountiful God ; 
throw off" for good and all the illusions of your intellect, 
the chains on your afifections, and stand upright in that 
freedom which is your inheritance. And my confidence 
that you will do so at last, and that the bonds of this 
world will not hold you for ever, is what has suggested 
the apprehension, to which I have alluded, whether I 
have done wisely in deciding on addressing you at all. 
I have in truth had anxious misgivings whether I should 
not do better to let you alone, my own experience 
teaching me, that even the most charitable attempts 
are apt to fail, when their end is the conviction of the 
intellect. It is no work of a day to convince the intel- 
lect of an Englishman that Catholicism is true. And, 
even when the intellect is convinced, a thousand subtle 
influences interpose in arrest of v/hat should follow, car- 
rying, as it were, an appeal into a higher court, and 
claiming to have the matter settled before some tribunal 
more sacred, and by pleadings more recondite, than the 
operations and the decision of the reason. The Eternal 
God deals with us one by one, each in his own way; 
and bystanders may pity and compassionate the long 
throes of our travail, but they cannot aid us except by 
their prayers. If, then, I have erred in entering upon 
the subjects I have brought before you, pardon me; 


pardon me if I have rudely taken on myself to thrust 
you forward, and to anticipate by artificial means a 
divine growth. If it be so, I will only hope that, 
though I may have done you no good, yet my attempt 
may be blessed in some other way; that I may have 
thrown light on the general subject which I have dis- 
cussed, have contributed to map out the field of thought 
on which I have been engaged, and to ascertain its lie 
and its characteristics, and have furnished materials for 
what, in time to come, may be the science and received 
principles of the whole controversy, though I have failed 
in that which was my immediate object. 

At all events, my dear brethren, I hope I may be at 
least considered to be showing my good will and kindness 
towards you, if nothing else, and my desire to be of use 
to you. All is vanity but what is done to the glory of 
God. It glitters and it fades away; it makes a noise 
and it is gone. If I shall not do you or others good, 
I have done nothing. Yet a little while and the end 
will come, and all will be made manifest, and error will 
fail, and truth will prevail. Yet a little while, and " the 
fire shall try every man''s work of what sort it is." May 
you and I live in this prospect ; and may God, and His 
Ever-blessed Mother, and St. Philip, my dear father and 
master, and the great Saints Athanasius and Ambrose, 
and St. Leo, pope and confessor, who have brought me 
thus far, be the hope, and help, and reward of you and 
me, all through this weary life, and in the day of account, 
and in glory everlasting ! 


Gilbert & RIvington, Frinleri, 
St John'! Square. 





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